By Bronagh Loughlin
It’s been a long time coming, but finally we are seeing the mobility sector being completely disrupted. With congestion on the rise, pollution increasing and public-transport not coping with the pressures, cities are realising it is not a sustainable model. People are embracing the idea of shared mobility, autonomous vehicles and connected roads to build a truly efficient and resilient mobility ecosystem.
When it comes to protecting our environment, one of the greatest challenges we face today is mobility. People require a seemingly infinite network of transportation systems and vehicles to uphold both societies and economies. Buses, trains, trucks, cars and other modes of transportation are leaving a significant mark on the environment.
How large is this mark? It has been estimated that around one-quarter of global CO2 emissions come from the transportation of goods and people. Creating sustainable transportation solutions will be one of the biggest challenges facing cities today.
However, it is also an excellent opportunity for the low-carbon development of towns and cities. Sustainable mobility requires a huge mind shift, one whereby transport in private cars and trucks gives way to various different modes of public transport. Some examples include bicycle and pedestrian lanes, car sharing, rail freight and electric vehicles.
The good news is that more and more cities across the globe are rising to this challenge by creating solutions that make sure the essential flow of goods, people and services while mitigating climate change and establishing climate-safe cities.
One fabulous example being Paris. Paris has in recent times become a city associated with a sustainable future. They have devised a well-maintained Metro system and pioneered a city bike-share program providing locals with great environmentally-friendly alternatives for getting from A to B around the city.
Another example is Amsterdam. In 2007, they became the first large western city where the bicycle overtook the car as the most popular kind of private transportation. This did not happen by accident either. Their status as the world’s most bike-friendly city was the result of cycling inclusive planning and has resulted in dramatic improvement in the city’s air quality.
So, how do we make our mobility more sustainable? We can tackle the challenge of mobility in a number of ways. We can reduce the emissions of urban transport with more environmentally friendly vehicles such as Teslas, Toyota and Kia private car models as well as Ford and Toyota models on the truck side of things.
We can also try to make use of public transport more and choose alternative modes of transport such as cycling and walking by adding cycle lanes and pedestrian paths. Urban freight transports make up a very small share of urban traffic, however, improving the efficiency of the first and last mile of deliveries is of huge importance for both the reduction of emissions and for economic growth.
We can look into the likes of electric buses, develop zero CO2 shipping, create better footpath systems that will make people feel safer when walking in cities and pioneer cycling programs and car share programs.
We don’t have to settle for unsustainable mobility as there are lots of environmentally-friendly transport options out there that will help to reduce our emissions drastically. Making mobility more sustainable is a huge challenge, however, it is a very necessary area for us to tackle if we are to build a more resilient and efficient way of mobility.
In this fast changing and exciting sector, we do expect more good news to arise as more investments are made in the mobility landscape. Cooperation amongst all players will be key in overcoming any challenges ahead. 2021 will most likely be the year where we witness mass adoption of pollution-free and efficient mobility systems.
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