Cities boom! How much Mobility Tech benefits us

Electric cars, autonomous driving, vehicle sharing, pay-as-you-go… Sounds familiar? It is more and more frequent to heard these words on a daily-basis, since people are starting to witness the advantages the new wave of transportation technologies is offering.

However, it is more or less the first time that a number is given regarding the potential savings cities might achieve with integrated mobility systems, when it come to “pollution, safety and other transportation-related costs” (GreenBiz, 2017). McKinsey&Consultants are the authors, and their analysis estimates that, in 50 metropolitan areas around the world, the amount is worth up to $600 billion.

We know every city is unique, and the number could change from one place to another. However, in my opinion, having an approximate is pretty inviting. Inviting people, administrations, policy-makers and companies around the world to make a change encouraged for the quantifiable benefits. Of course, I think there is the need for always having in mind that the confluence of the three sustainability pillars (economic development, society well-being and environment protection) is the most important thing!

McKinsey’s analysis was performed in different scenarios, for how mobility might change in three types of cities regarding density, sprawl, and economic development. Then, they laid out quantifiable and qualitative opportunities and challenges along with recommendations to urban and city stakeholders.

Finally, they also pointed out fast-moving trends shaping urban-mobility around the world. I totally agree with them and I believe the rest of urban passengers are too. My top are:

  • Shared mobility: both ride-sharing and ride-hailing have grown rapidly over the past years, competing with public transit and private vehicle ownership.
  • Autonomous driving: people are excited to know that autonomous vehicles “should turn driving time into free time” and will also help improving road-safety.
  • Vehicle electrification: electric-vehicle sales are rising among alternative energy vehicles, helping reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emissions to the atmosphere, as well.
  • Connectivity and Internet of Things: helping trip planning, connectivity, and to guide autonomous vehicles.
  • Public transit: improvement of public-transit networks with more ecological fleets, flexibility, and accessibility.
  • Decentralisation of energy systems: acceleration of the electric vehicle with more renewable energy production, lowering of electricity prices at peak times, and freeing more capacity for charging.
  • Regulation: Tax breaks and incentives for electric vehicles and use of other sustainable transport could boost integrated mobility in many cities.

More road-safety, clean air, less congestion… Sounds good, does it? I am waiting for it. It’s hip to be green!

If you want to read more about the McKinsey analysis, here comes the link. Enjoy!

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/the-futures-of-mobility-how-cities-can-benefit

Cities boom! How much Mobility Tech benefits us

Smart Cities for a society of longer lives

“We are currently in a society where people live longer. Smart cities are a response to this.” said Laurent Abadie, CEO of Panasonic Europe. His words are clear, smart cities are not only about technology and the environment but also about people’ well-being, about which services we can offer to people and make their lives better. In other words, we do not need to forget to reconcile all the three pillars of sustainability.

This speech came out after the commissioning of the self-sufficient city in Fujisawa, Japan, by the  multinational enterprise Panasonic. The Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town is a big neighbourhood with 1000 households, green areas and solar panels everywhere. They are not developing a town only based on advanced-technology but, in their own words, “based on actual lifestyles”. Electric cars and a rational use of energy (it has amazing street lamps! LED lights that only turn on during the pedestrians’ tour) have helped to reduce 70% of CO2 emissions. Also with water reuse installations they have achieved to lessen 30% of water consumption, and residents interact, bond and exchange ideas and objectives for achieving better lifestyles in mobility, security and well-being.

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This utopian city but is actually a high-functionality reality. However, it is located in Japan, and this country has the advantage of having “a culture very used to manage their own resources because the land is very scarce” said the Spanish architect Pich-Aguilera. Plus very dense. Have other countries the possibility to replicate this example and become a success, as well? Pich-Aguilera thinks that it is possible, and about his country, Spain, he believes that however nowadays the law is against the renewable energy, Spanish people are close to a great change. The reason is because this country has a great potential in energy-terms. First, because the climate, obviously, and second because the great potential in attaining a good and efficient energy management in cities.

The path is steered but we still need to work in better deals between the public administration and private initiatives for inversions. So come on, multinational corporations, follow the Panasonic and Apple example (they are working together in a second residential sustainable area in Japan) and the planet and people will thank you. It’s hip to be green!

If you would like to know more about the Fujisawa project, here you go! There are very good schemes and infographics about the sustainable ideas performance. http://fujisawasst.com/EN/

Smart Cities for a society of longer lives