SUSTAINABLE URBAN MOBILITY: HOW TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
Daily commutes in large cities, such as driving to work, generate high levels of pollution. Faced with this situation, sustainable mobility emerges as a fundamental ally for cities and their residents.
But what does sustainable mobility really entail? How can we implement it?
What is sustainable mobility?
Sustainable mobility encompasses a set of practices aimed at counteracting the negative effects of excessive use of private cars, such as traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
The purpose of sustainable mobility is to minimize or eliminate these negative impacts by proposing lower-impact transportation alternatives, such as bicycles, public transportation, and carpooling, options that contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.
Why is sustainable mobility relevant?
The benefits of sustainable mobility are evident, improving the quality of life for urban residents and creating a more efficient and accessible transportation model for everyone. This is directly linked to improving road safety in cities, as reducing the number of cars in circulation facilitates traffic flow and participant safety.
In addition to these benefits, this approach contributes to people’s health by reducing harmful emissions from vehicles that use fossil fuels, which is particularly relevant for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children who are more susceptible to respiratory diseases.
In the case of children, experts highlight the importance of educating them in the culture of sustainable mobility and forming more responsible habits for the future.
Tips for sustainable mobility
- Prioritize the use of public transport whenever possible, as options like buses, subways, or trains are ideal in urban environments, especially in densely populated areas.
- Bicycles are an excellent ally: Fortunately, in Spanish cities, there are increasingly dedicated bike lanes, allowing for safe and easy travel. If you don’t have your own bicycle, consider using the public bikes offered by many municipalities.
- Share the car when necessary: If you must use a car, try to share rides with others. This reduces the number of vehicles on the streets. If you don’t know someone with the same route, use apps that help you find carpooling partners.
- And of course, walk whenever you can: Sometimes we forget how healthy it is to walk to our destinations, whether it’s work, the gym, or your children’s school. Practicing this habit benefits both the planet and your health.
BEST APPS FOR SUSTAINABILITY: TECH TO AN ENVIRONMENTAL-FRIENDLY WORLD
The role of authorities
In addition to individual actions and habits, administrations play a crucial role in promoting sustainable mobility. Municipal, regional, and national governments implement sustainable urban mobility plans that define the guidelines for mobility policy in cities, seeking a long-term balance between mobility needs and the environment, according to the Spanish Sustainable Mobility Strategy (EEMS).
Among the most common policies are:
- Promoting the use of public transport through investments in its renovation or reducing fares through monthly or annual passes.
- Planning urban design sustainably by expanding pedestrian zones or bike lanes.
- Providing tax benefits for ecological mobility models (public transportation, carpooling, electric vehicles, etc.).
And you, how will you start moving sustainably?