In 2018, the Graz Declaration detailed, under the heading “Starting a new era: clean, safe and affordable mobility for Europe”, the ways in which mobility could help Europe to achieve the climate goals for 2030. Later in 2019, the European Green Deal established the commitment to reform the EU Economy towards a sustainable future, by designing a set of deeply transformative policies, such as accelerating the shift to a sustainable and smart mobility. Now, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is living unprecedented times and is facing a crisis that convenes everyone – technicians, politicians, and citizens – to debate the present and future challenges in Mobility Management.
More than ever, the goal of achieving sustainable transport modes putting users first and providing them with more affordable, accessible, healthier, and cleaner alternatives to their current mobility habits and patterns. Automated and connected multimodal mobility must play an increasing role, together with smart traffic management systems offered by digitalization. On the other hand, it is crucial to think and plan the cities, in order to ensure the essential services and proximity functions, equipment, and identity, while simultaneously creating spaces that are adjustable and flexible to support fast changes.
How to ensure affordability, accessibility, and safety for all? Does the ideal city rely on self-sufficient neighborhoods? Which strategies must be employed to reduce the need to travel? How to implement mobility hubs to induce co-mobility and shared mobility, integrating several modes of transport as well as creating urban spaces and greener environments? How to afford Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems?
Considering the necessary deep changes in economy, society, policy, environment and technology, our future depends on the lessons we will learn from the moment we are living today to make things possible Beginning a New Era.
TOPICS FOCUS SESSIONS — ECOMM 2021
1. BEGINNING A NEW ERA — ACCELERATING SHIFTING TO SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY
The atmosphere is warming and climate is changing. Forests and oceans are being destroyed, and plenty species are in risk of being lost. Decarbonization must proceed with smart integration of renewables, energy efficiency and other sustainable solutions across sectors, such as1 mobility. Transportation accounts for a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve climate neutrality, a 90% reduction in transport emissions must be achieved until 2050, as established by the European Green Deal.
Transportation, especially in cities, should become drastically less polluting, as it is the biggest environmental risk to health and kills around three million people each year worldwide. A combination of measures should address emissions, air pollution, urban congestion, and improved public and shared transportation, to substantially reduce premature death and illness caused by air pollution.
On the other hand, despite the great improvement in road safety, the losses of human lives on the roads are still high as is the percentage of people seriously injured, including pedestrians and cyclists. This represents an unacceptable humanitarian and social cost.
Achieving sustainable transport modes putting users first and providing them with more affordable, accessible, healthier, and cleaner alternatives to their current mobility habits and patterns. How to ensure affordability, accessibility and safety for all?
How can we act collectively to have the best solutions for all the actors and for all people?
2. MOBILITY AVOIDANCE: A NEW MOBILITY REBUILT FROM THE GROUND ZERO MOBILITY
Cities are epicentres of creativity because proximity breeds strength, from which new ideas and opportunities arise. On the other hand, technology has created several ways of connecting people remotely, so we do not need to have people commuting and polluting everyday: home office has proven to be successful. The advent of the post-automobile city must put an end to the segregation between housing, schools and economic opportunities.
The ideal city relies on self-sufficient neighborhoods? Which strategies must be employed to reduce the need to travel? Should the home office periods be increased? How can we reduce the peak of demand, while dividing the time and space in which we collectively organize our schedules? Happiness is possible: how to nudge people to change the way they move daily, to ensure mental and physical health? How to integrate micro-mobility (bike sharing, e-scooters, car-sharing, etc.) in the public and shared transportation system?
3. RESILIENT TERRITORIES — SPEEDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW DECISIONS MOBILITY
The world is facing unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and this has exposed the weaknesses of a generic and dehumanized development model of cities, which often does not respect their local identities and does not satisfy the real needs of its different populations.
The challenge is to think outside the box because the future tends to be even more unpredictable. It is crucial to think and plan the city in order to ensure the essential services and proximity functions, equipment, and identity, while simultaneously creating spaces that are adjustable and flexible to support fast changes. Strategies like tactical urbanism can provide short term and experimental, low-cost and scalable interventions to reach the long-term goal, which is safety and more space to pedestrians and bike users. To move safely in the city is a question that impacts the quality of life. The concern must be not only related to functionality but also to the need of harmony, beauty and health.
How to implement mobility hubs to induce co-mobility and shared mobility, while combining several modes of transport with the creation of urban spaces and greener environments?
4. MOBILITY MANAGEMENT POLICIES TO PROMOTE UNIVERSAL ACCESS MOBILITY
A democracy must provide a mobility network that is accessible for all, predictable, affordable, with quality in the service that is provided, in order to ensure that each citizen can access the streets, the green park, the museum, can reach the health centre, go to work and go to school. It should connect people of all ages, in affordable and equitable conditions, while having in mind the real needs of the different populations and communities, which still is an ambitious goal to achieve.
The concept of Universal Access features directly in the Sustainable Development Goal target of providing everyone with safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, while improving road safety, and expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations like women, children, people with disabilities, elderly people, and those that are living in low density territories.
Do we all, without exception, have access to the same facilities and at the same costs?
How do we build a new mobility system, which is sustainable and while putting the human-centred approach first?
5. TOMORROW’S MOBILITY PROSPECTIVES MOBILITY
Technological change can be disrupting the conventional transportation and business models and industry, creating new opportunities in mobility services, connectivity and automation.
Automated and connected multimodal mobility will play an increasingly significant role, together with smart traffic management offered by digitalisation.
Automated vehicles and advanced connectivity systems shall make vehicles safer, easier to share and eventually more accessible for all people, including elderly and mobility-impaired persons. Synergies among safety and sustainability measures must be reinforced and shared mobility data for the services provided, available in real time, can be efficient in “nudging” people to the use of zero-emission modes of transport.
How to afford Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems? How to ensure the essential stakeholders’ engagement, to support academic research programs focused on the development of technology to improve the overall mobility system?
How to build a common legal framework for all countries within the EU to support autonomous vehicles?