Which Cities will Lead on Green Urban Mobility?
A list of participating cities has been announced from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean that will be involved in a project taking a 'conceptual leap' to sustainability, with a focus on accessibility for people, rather than simply increasing roads, rail or the movement of people or goods.
They include Curitiba, Brazil (right).
The European SOLUTIONS [Sharing Opportunities for Low carbon Urban transporTatION] project on innovative and green urban transport solutions was launched at the EcoMobility Congress in Suwon (South Korea) in September 2013.
It called for cities who wished to take part in the project, and a list has just been announced.
SOLUTIONS brings together a wealth of experience and technical knowledge from international organisations, consultants, cities, and experts involved in transport issues and solutions. Its overall objective is to make a substantial contribution to the uptake of innovative and green urban mobility solutions across the world.
It will do this by facilitating dialogue and exchange, promoting successful policy, providing guidance and tailored advice to city officials, and fostering future cooperation on research, development and innovation.
There are six themes:
- public transport
- transport infrastructure
- city logistics
- integrated planning / sustainable urban mobility plans
- network and mobility management
- clean vehicles
Cities chosen to participate so far have been divided into three categories:
- leading cities: those that have been successful in developing and implementing sustainable solutions for urban mobility;
- take-up cities: bringing together those cities that showed a real sense of commitment to implement new solutions;
- training cities: that will be able to attend a series of workshops and activities focused on the sharing examples of success.
Leading cities are:
- Aalborg, Denmark
- Barcelona, Spain
- Bremen, Germany
- Budapest, Hungary
- Dalian, China
- Curitiba, Brazil
They will share their expertise in the development and implementation of sustainable urban mobility solutions. They will also benefit from the mutual learning process and the knowledge sharing with other cities in the world.
Take-up cities are:
- Belo-Horizonte, Brazil
- Guiyang, China
- Kochin, India
- Leon, Mexico
These show a real sense of commitment to assess opportunities for the transfer of innovative solutions to their context. Bilateral and multilateral exchanges and technical visits will be organised and opportunities for future research cooperation will be elaborated.
Training cities are:
- Amman, Jordan
- Casablanca, Morocco
- Durango, Mexico
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- La Serena, Chile
- Matale, Sri Lanka
- Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil
- Sfax, Tunisia
- Xi'an, China
They will be able to participate in several knowledge-sharing and capacity-building workshops, focusing on successful examples of innovative sustainable mobility solutions from Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Cities interested in participating as training cities are invited to contact SOLUTIONS.
Meanwhile a new UN-Habitat report is arguing that the development of sustainable urban transport systems requires a conceptual leap. In Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility — Global Report on Human Settlements 2013 they say that "With access as the ultimate objective of transportation, urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together. To this end, cities should focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of urban transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or goods".
What about London?
Noticeably absent from the above list is London, which just announced a whole raft of major infrastructure projects it intends to take forward up to 2025.
These include the biggest ever investment in London's roads, including expanding the network of intelligent traffic signals to cover three-quarters of all signals in London, and the prospect of Chinese-style 'triple-decker' roads.
Transport for London's business plan makes no mention of journey-minimisation policies. But is does announce almost a billion pounds to be spent to deliver the Mayor's cycling vision over the next ten years. By 2016 a fully segregated east-west and north-south 'Crossrail for the bikes' will be delivered, along with a network of quiet ways and improvements to major junctions across London.
Crossrail - the brand new rail service linking east and west London - will be operating from 2018. There will be a subway line extension and upgrades plus
1,700 new hybrid buses, a London Overground Capacity Improvement programme and electrification project, and additional trams in the south of the capital.