The path to meeting Europe’s urban mobility goals
In order to reach European urban mobility goals, cities need to first look at new urban mobility solutions. Modern cities all face similar challenges: congestion, lack of space, growing population, air quality, noise, liveability, social inclusion, health, economic development and creation of jobs. Mobility is a factor that affects all of these elements. Citizens are looking for mobility to be as clean, cheap and easy as possible, since transport is the key to getting from Point A to B, whether that’s commuting to work, to doctor appointments or to another town. If it’s not cost-effective or sustainable to expand infrastructure in an urban environment, what is the next alternative for European cities? One way forward is with the Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster and its various initiatives taking place across Europe. Let’s take a closer look at how these developments may be a game-changer when it comes to creating a real impact on society and the current mobility system, changing the way cities view and use public space.
The 5 Initiatives of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster
In an effort to bring cities and regions together with companies to showcase mobility solutions (and replicate them on larger scales), the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities has launched the Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster. This cluster will act as the platform cities need to bring together relevant stakeholders and the tools necessary to support innovation networks and projects that can later be put into action. Following a “learning by doing” approach, tests and pilots will be launched in real-life urban contexts in the hopes that successful solutions can later spread to larger markets. By introducing concepts like intelligent driving, shared mobility, alternative fuels and urban air mobility, cities will become more liveable and accessible in the process, revolutionizing the way people and goods are transported. Here are the five initiatives underway and some of the benefits each will offer:
Urban Air Mobility (UAM): With traffic congestion in the EU costing almost €100 billion a year, urban cities need a new mobility plan that will help cut these costs. Enter the future of flying vehicles. As part of the Urban Air Mobility initiative’s goal of “putting the urban mobility into the third dimension — the airspace,” the initiative is looking to match European cities with stakeholders who can move these projects to the next phase and test them at an intra-city and inter-city level.
Intelligent Mobility for Energy Transition (IMET): The main goal for this initiative is to go beyond zero emissions and build a framework for a new e-mobility ecosystem that can help the urban energy infrastructure to become more resilient. At the moment, IMET is looking to build up its core team and grow membership to get first deals with cities to deploy pilot projects by April 2018, bringing together both big and small players to help develop sustainable energy models through e-mobility solutions.
Alternative Fuels Special Vehicles (AFSV): As smart cities develop, one key element is obtaining a zero-emission environment, looking to alternative fuel sources to power special vehicles and city operations. AFSV is in the process of growing its membership and hoping to reach 20 cities by December 2018.
New Mobility Services (NMS): To better integrate and manage urban transport, NMS aims to bring together cities and the private sector in the development of collective systems for seamless multi-modal mobility (door-to-door). The NMS initiative is recruiting potential partners through existing projects, networks and conferences with a goal of implementing pilots and deployments across Europe by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
E-Vehicles for Smart Cities and Communities (EV4SCC): The goal here is simple: for Europe to become the biggest platform of electric mobility in the world by accelerating the adoption of EVs and introducing infrastructure that reduces road transport emissions.