Transport systems play a crucial role in achieving the UN SDGs and some countries are turning their sustainable aspirations into concrete plans. Some countries are encouraging citizens to ditch their private cars, while others are harnessing the power of smart technologies to improve people’s commuting.
Take France for instance: the Government is planning on an initiative to cut on transport emissions by offering the owners of old, aging cars the opportunity to hand over their vehicles in return for a grant to buy an electric bicycle. The solution is not just to make cars greener, but to reduce their number. Can a financial incentive encourage people to get out of their car and change their mobility habits?
But France is setting another great example as Paris plans to remove half of its 140,000 on-street car parking spaces as it seeks to make the city greener and more people-friendly. By reducing parking spaces, the city aims to promote more eco-friendly transport options and leisure pursuits. Could planting more trees be a good use of that extra space?
To reduce air pollution, the city of Ranchi in India is running a no-car Saturday campaign. Instead of banning cars from a few lanes, this small Indian city has banned cars every Saturday. As most residents live within a 5-km radius of their workplace, school, or markets, they can easily get around walking or cycling. To push for this switch, Ranchi built 50 bike stands where residents can rent wheels by the hour. According to studies, Ranchi has ambient air pollution levels that are seven times higher than World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards. Hence, the necessity to conceive a sustainability plan as people are more aware and understand the need to reduce their carbon footprint.
Israel is one of the world’s leading innovators in the mobility sector, having generated some $35 billion worth of innovations such as technologies for self-driving cars. What is more, after the pandemic the country has been modernizing its transport network. As the market for mobility as a service is expected to grow by $180 billion from 2019 to 2023, citizens in Israel can benefit from a comprehensive MaaS experience when commuting. Other solutions the country has implemented include: digitizing transit to mobilize commuters more efficiently and safely, developing technologies to extend the range of batteries that would make electric vehicles more competitive.
The challenge is to implement these solutions for the long term to create a transportation system that revolves around people’s needs, safety, health, and accessibility.
Do you know other best practices that have propelled sustainable mobility through innovative programs and initiatives? Let us know in the comments!