immagine simbolica per mobilità sostenibile, bicicletta pale eoliche campagna

Sustainable mobility

In 2022 the Home-Workplace Travel Plan (Piano Spostamenti Casa-Lavoro, PSCL) for the Pisa site of the Scuola Normale was approved and then updated in 2023. The PSCL mapped the locations of the SNS buildings, situated mainly within the historic city centre and the limited traffic area, and surveyed the travel habits of those who work at the SNS daily.

The questionnaire filled in by members of the SNS community showed that 60% of respondents travel less than 5 km to go to work. This distance is widely considered to be ideal for choosing sustainable travel options: on foot and by bicycle. The most critical travel distance turned out to be between 5km and 20km from the workplace: those who live in this range mainly use a car or a motorbike to go to work.

The questionnaire also confirmed that throughout the SNS community there is willingness to change: with more economic and practical incentives, respondents declared they are ready to switch to more sustainable means of transport.

On the basis of this, the PSCL identified a series of measures to promote sustainable mobility choices within the SNS community:

  • Training courses and awareness campaigns;
  • Economic Concessions for encouraging the use of local public transport;
  • Structural and functional review of access rules and parking arrangements at the San Silvestro complex;
  • Improved parking for bicycles;
  • Logistic and/or economic concessions for the use of sharing mobility vehicles, in particular in the area of the San Silvestro complex of Pisa and among the Florence sites of the Scuola Normale;
  • Request for a CicloPi station and/or electric bikes at the San Silvestro complex;
  • Signing of concession agreements with regional train service providers;
  • Antitheft stamping of the bicycles;
  • Creation of a web platform to encourage car pooling within the SNS community.

Starting from the 1st March 2023, the General Secretary, Dr Enrico Periti, has taken up the role of Mobility Manager at the Scuola Normale Superiore. He has set up a workgroup that meets every two months with the goal of implementing actions consistent with the PSCL as well as of disseminating and consolidating an organizational culture attentive to sustainability.

Ongoing initiatives

1. Incentives for the use of public transport


Thanks to an agreement signed with Autolinee Toscane, the technical-administrative and teaching staff of the Scuola Normale can benefit from a substantial reduction on the price of the seasonal ticket for public buses.

Intercity trains and Frecce:

In July 2023, the SNS Executive Council approved the proposal to join the Trenitalia for Business programme tailored to universities. The programme secures discounts for business trips with Freccia and Intercity trains and is currently being activated. It includes the Welfare Plus 20% offer, which gives a 20% discount for private train trips for teaching staff, students and technical-administrative staff, including up to 6 other travellers. It is valid for tickets with the Basic, Economy and Super Economy rate and it can be purchased with the Freccia Card.

Through a special fund (the Fondo Provvidenze) non-managerial technical-administrative staff can obtain a reimbursement of up to 25% of the expenses incurred for travel by train and by private bus lines (reimbursement subject to the economic situation index, the so-called ISEE).

One of the objectives is to make these benefits increasingly accessible to members of the SNS community.


2. Cycling mobility

Following a reconnaissance of the bike racks in Palazzo D'Ancona, which are also used by those heading to Palazzo della Carovana and to the canteen, abandoned bicycles were eliminated, thus freeing up much needed parking spaces. The existing bike racks are being overhauled and repositioned to improve their functionality.

The Scuola Normale, together with the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and the University of Pisa, are in the process of signing an agreement with the FIAB Pisa association, the Municipal Police and the Bicycle Office of the Municipality of Pisa to combat the theft of bicycles. As part of the agreement, students, academic and technical-administrative staff of the Scuola Normale will have access to discounted tariffs for the anti-theft stamping of their private bicycles.

Starting from the academic year 2023/24, twenty bicycles will be made available to students who reside in SNS colleges: they can be rented free of charge to move around the city in a sustainable way.


3. Events to raise awareness

BIKE TO WORK DAY @ SNS – “We want to ride our bicycles!”

For the first time, on the 22nd September 2023 the Scuola Normale participated in the “Bike to work day", organised in Italy by the FIAB (Federazione Italiana Ambiente e Bicicletta). On that day thousands of people will go to work by bike, as part of a Europe-wide campaign.

The whole SNS community was invited to gather in Piazza dei Cavalieri on their bikes to start their working day in a sustainable way. Participants had breakfast together, shared their cycling experience and talked about what happens to body and mood when you come to work by bike.


4. Clean “company” vehicles

The Scuola Normale has recently been equipped with an electric car which will be used in carrying out Logistics Services.