8 key messages on how to shape net-zero cities with active and public transport

By Hannah Figg / Updated: 28 Jun 2022

Creating net zero cities will require large changes to urban transport systems and the need to promote active (walking and cycling) and public transport.

During the Transport and Climate Change Week in June 2022, experts shared 8 key messages on how to achieve this goal.


1) Paratransit is not only part of the problem. It is also part of the solution 

Paratransit’s place in urban transport networks needs to be better understood and integrated. Electric vehicles will help paratransit providers to offer net zero transportation for people with less mobility such as older people and those living with disabilities. Furthermore, for the majority of cities in the Global South, paratransit is the predominant form of public transportation.

2) Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and digital technologies can help integrate paratransit and close the knowledge gap 

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) offer mobility practitioners and public authorities better understanding on paratransit. The European Commission, through MobiliseYourCity, is going to support these practitioners in parts of the Global South through developing SUMPs to close the knowledge gap. The data gap is to be closed through digital mapping from various digital technologies and apps.

3) Paratransit modernization requires substantial financial support 

Investment opportunities are necessary to allow for the modernisation of paratransit providers as they rarely have the capital to invest themselves.

4) Paratransit can be integrated into mass transit services through new business models and e-payment 

E-payment systems will allow more citizens to use the service, whilst providing payment data to bridge the aforementioned data gap. Stakeholder engagement may be necessary to promote this new way of payment.

5) The fastest and easiest way to decarbonise transport is to promote active mobility 

Walking and cycling are still two of the most important ways of reducing carbon footprint in cities. Pedestrianisation and pro-cycling initiatives are on the rise throughout many cities and should be promoted further, especially as 50% of urban trips are less than 10km long. Active mobility should be encouraged alongside the use of public transport.

6) A good land-use plan is a good transport plan 

Land-use plans should aim to facilitate this extra use of active and public transport, rather than building more roads. Building more roads will inevitably lead to the same problems that we are trying to move away from.

7) Walking and cycling need dedicated plans and budgets by governments 

Pedestrianizing cities and providing more cycling infrastructure will require budgeting and planning by local and national governments. The pandemic provided many urban cases of pro-cycling policies that have helped facilitate the uptake of cycling.

8) Improving and promoting active mobility goes hand in hand with disincentivising the use of private cars 

Incentivising active and public transport will enable these modes of transport to be more viable than using private cars. The increase in viability of active and public transport should be promoted through public campaigns to help people see the positives and enable them to plan their transition from private cars.


To read more, please visit the original article which was posted on the MobiliseYourCity website here.


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