A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is a strategic plan intended to meet the mobility needs of individuals and enterprises in cities and their environs in order to improve the quality of life. It expands on existing planning techniques and takes integration, participation, and assessment concepts into consideration. In this article, we’ll discuss Five Reasons to be Optimistic About Sustainable Urban Mobility.
Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning is a comprehensive and integrated method for addressing the complexity of urban transport in an efficient manner. Its primary objective is to increase accessibility and quality of life through a transition to sustainable mobility. SUMP promotes decision-making that is fact-based and guided by a long-term vision for sustainable transportation. This requires a thorough assessment of the current situation and future trends, a widely supported common vision with strategic objectives, and an integrated set of regulatory, promotional, financial, technical, and infrastructure measures to achieve the objectives whose implementation should be accompanied by systematic monitoring and evaluation.
SUMP, in contrast to conventional planning methods, prioritizes the participation of citizens and stakeholders, the coordination of policies across sectors (particularly transport, land use, environment, economic development, social policy, health, safety, and energy), and broad cooperation across government levels and with private actors. The concept also emphasizes the necessity to integrate all aspects of mobility (both people and products), modes, and services, and to plan for the full functional metropolitan region, as opposed to a single municipality inside its administrative boundaries.
Five Reasons to be Optimistic About Sustainable Urban Mobility
Here are five reasons to be optimistic about sustainable urban mobility-
1. Private car travel is at an all-time high in developed countries
Despite years of expansion in automobile ownership and vehicle travel, it appears that some have begun to take a different route. From the 1970s through 2003, car travel increased substantially in eight industrialized nations but has since levelled off. Another study indicated that between 2001 and 2009, automobile miles driven by younger generations in the United States declined by 23%.
In addition to rising fuel prices, increasing traffic congestion, and an increase in the relative affordability and convenience of public transportation, this development is driven by a significant cultural shift. Particularly in Europe and the United States, younger generations have adopted the sharing economy and relocated to more walkable metropolitan areas. It indicates that the majority of millennials would rather give up their automobile than their smartphone, and many Americans no longer pursue driver’s licenses. In 2010, just 69.5% of 19-year-olds in the United States have a valid driver’s license, down from 87.5% in 1983. This transition has also contributed to an increase in the usage of sustainable modes of transportation, most notably bicycling and walking, which could spur reinvestment in public transportation and a decrease in automotive subsidies.
2. Strong economic argument can be made for sustainable cities
It has become increasingly evident that integrated, compact urban development is both economically and environmentally sensible. The Better Growth, Better Climate analysis revealed that by pursuing low-carbon growth, cities could save $3 trillion in infrastructure improvements over the next 15 years. This kind of action has both local and global benefits. For instance, according to a study conducted by EMBARQ – the creator of TheCityFix – on the socioeconomic consequences of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, Mexico City’s Metrobus Line 3 is expected to minimize respiratory ailments and save the city an estimated $4.5 million in health care expenditures. Eleven BRT projects in Mexico, Colombia, China, India, and South Africa are projected to cut world emissions by 31,4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the course of 20 years. This amount is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of over 6.5 million automobiles.
3. Cities lead the way
Local measures have had the largest influence in recent years, despite a growing global commitment to combat climate change. At the United Nations Climate Summit in September, city leaders were at the vanguard of efforts to stimulate climate change action, unlock financing for low-carbon development, and scale up sustainable mobility solutions. In addition, the new Compact of Mayors project expands on cities’ current climate pledges by offering a platform for transparent emission reduction monitoring and reporting. Analysis indicates that 228 cities, home to 436 million people, have voluntarily pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 gigatons by 2050.
Also Read: Urban Centers and Climate Change: Implications from the IPCC’s New Report
4. Sustainable mobility solutions continue to expand
The severity of the problems cities face today necessitates scalable answers. Only 45 cities had BRT networks in 2002. Currently, there are 186 cities and counting. BRT is only one example of the recent global expansion of sustainable transportation alternatives. Cities are increasing their use of car-sharing, bike-sharing, pedestrianization, and congestion pricing in an effort to combat traffic congestion and improve quality of life.
As communities reduce their dependence on automobiles, the number of sustainable mobility alternatives continues to rise.
Also Read: Millions Ride BRT, Saving Billions
5. New technologies unlock new opportunities
Although many of these solutions have existed for decades, technological advancements have expedited their integration and deployment. Numerous transport-specific technologies have improved service quality while cutting expenses. The transfer of technology between wealthy and developing nations has also played a significant influence. In India’s auto-rickshaws, GPS and smartphone applications have improved the passenger experience. Citizens’ interactions with local leaders have also been transformed by technology, ushering in a new era of political participation and inclusion. These technological advancements can enable cities in emerging nations to leapfrog car-dependent development and quickly choose a more sustainable route.
Enabling a Future of Sustainable Mobility
There is still work to be done to mainstream sustainable urban mobility options, despite the fact that these five trends have already taken root in many of our cities. The three key enablers of political will, finance, and data and technology can be utilized by city leaders to build momentum toward cities that are designed for people, not cars.
Scaling up sustainable urban mobility solutions globally, along with the steps required to make them locally applicable, can result in more inclusive and prosperous cities. Developing attractive, locally-tailored solutions may be the most difficult aspect of the puzzle, but it also presents the greatest opportunity for local policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and action-oriented organizations to collaborate in order to create lasting change. With the future of the world’s population residing in cities, the time has come to implement this transformation. This is another one of the Five Reasons to be Optimistic About Sustainable Urban Mobility.