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Developing universally accessible, sustainable mobility with a low environmental impact

Developing universally accessible, sustainable mobility with a low environmental impact

Fluid, universally accessible mobility whilst producing little pollution is a key condition for attractive cities and their inhabitants' quality of life. If the satisfactory integration of this issue is envisaged at a city's design stage, the distribution of activities and management of urban planning may reduce the mobility "needs". The transport supply also plays an important role in facilitating mobility on a daily basis and in reducing its impact on the environment.

 

Mobility and public transport / urban transport

The development of urban public transport is a means of combating urban congestion, of offering means of mobility to people who would otherwise be deprived of it, bearing in mind the cost of vehicles and fuel, of limiting air pollution and reducing the use of motor vehicles. Depending on the flow of passengers expected, technologies differ, from underground to tram systems, as well as high-level bus services or transport by cable car. In addition to their mobility function, urban transport systems provide structure to the urban space and an area's dynamics.

Vehicles of the future

In cities, poor air quality and a major part of sound pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are due to the use of internal combustion engine vehicles and petroleum fuels. In addition, this is a burden on household budgets due to the increase in fuel prices. Even if the development of soft mobility and public transport systems remains the central priority, finding substitutes suited to such individual mobility is still a fundamental issue.

Electric vehicles represent an interesting solution due to the absence of noise and local pollution, while constituting an element of storage and use for renewable electricity.

Self-service bicycles in Lyon, France. Credit Arnaud Bouissou MEDDE-METL

Soft mobility

City design must include, from a very early stage, the option of developing soft modes of travel. For example, walking and cycling are cheaper, good for health and non-polluting. They also help develop a friendly and lively spirit in neighbourhoods.

The structuring of a city and its avenues of communication plays an extremely important role in facilitating the deployment of soft modes of transport. They are much more difficult to develop if they have not been incorporated into a city's functioning and mobility right from the outset.

 

Shared infrastructure / inter-modality / multi-modality

Mobility is all the more easy and pleasant in cities where the different modes of transport interconnect and where travellers find it easy to use different types of mobility for the same journey. This implies overall planning incorporating multi-modality and the creation of multi-modal platforms (stations, airports, etc.) to ensure that different means of transport interconnect:

- parking for cars and bikes.
- public transport.
- availability of self-service vehicles.
- organisation of car sharing meeting points.

In addition to appropriate infrastructure, governance of the various types of public transport and their payment schemes must be designed to facilitate switching means of transport.

 

Remote guidance/Information systems

Digital technologies play an essential role in optimising the multi-modal chain and ease of access for users. Thanks to real-time information on mobile phones or other digital media, road traffic as well as public transport timetables are available to anyone at any time.

The development of carpooling and self-service vehicles is possible and shared payment systems are simple to use for the traveller.

Dense traffic in Bangladesh. Credit Hélène Ortiou UBIFRANCE

Urban logistics 

Transport of goods in cities is a complex subject that disturbs the traffic, is often polluting and noisy, but is also essential for a city's life and attractiveness. A number of technical solutions are available, based on innovative means of transport or on better use of public transport. 

 

References

♦ Strasbourg
♦ Bordeaux
♦ Nantes
♦ AREP
♦ Transdev