Toward Clean Mobility SystemsBy Yolanda Villegas | Tue, 01/11/2022 - 09:08
To achieve maximum efficiency and reduce travel needs, the most important factor is to "create proximity," meaning making it possible to study, work, shop and live near one’s own place of residence and without the actual need to "produce transport." However, current mobility problems cannot be ignored.
Given the enormous production of motorized vehicles, classic mobility policies are inefficient; thus, efforts should focus on reducing car use and encouraging certain forms of mobility while penalizing others.
It seems clear that the current ways in which we move around the city must change so that the right to mobility is truly guaranteed and is compatible with an adequate level of quality of life in the cities.
In this sense, the world’s cities are geared toward incorporating sustainability criteria to have a balance between mobility and accessibility needs that will allow citizens to enjoy good-quality life standards, introduce safe journeys that save time, energy and money and which entail promoting environmental protection, social cohesion, and economic development.
Regulatory changes, especially those generated at the local level, have been building mobility as a recognizable and enforceable right within legal frameworks. This progressive recognition focuses on the need for a quality mobility system, sufficient and accessible that, under conditions of equality and sustainability, will allow the effective movement of all people within a certain territory.
In recent years, Mexico has stood out for promoting and ratifying international agreements to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, Mexico has incorporated these agreements into its legal and planning framework. Nevertheless, implementation continues to be a challenge for the country, since it is still necessary to find instruments that are effective.
The role of administrations in promoting the transition toward a sustainable urban mobility model is foundational, since they are responsible for creating the mechanisms and structures necessary to achieve it, such as lanes focused on bicycle traffic and improving public transport. However, the role of citizens is also very important, since the change in mobility habits is based on the set of individual decisions that all of them make on a daily basis.
In this regard, it should be noted that a more rational and efficient use of private vehicles, among the main actors responsible for the deterioration of the urban environment, requires a high awareness and citizen involvement that, of course, must be supported by real alternatives that are increasingly sustainable, efficient, and comfortable.
Clean mobility plans should include strategies and measures to improve efficiency and the transition to zero-emission modes of transport for public transport fleets. Likewise, programs should be created to reduce the use of private transportation and increase support for public transportation and micro-mobility.
The COVID-19 outbreak has already led to major changes in business, infrastructure, practices, and behaviors, which can be geared toward making our mobility system more crisis-resistant, fairer to all citizens, and fit for the green transition.
To achieve the necessary goals in terms of clean mobility, a change in the fiscal and budgetary strategy is required since this clean mobility premise should be considered a priority measure. Mexico must strengthen the strategies, institutions, and existing legal regulations in such a way that it can implement projects that effectively reduce greenhouse emissions to the environment. Indeed, the energy transition, clean mobility and circular economies imply a bright future for Mexico.