10 principles guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders in the transition to new mobility services
The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles and networks is rapid, accelerating and filled with opportunity, as well as risks. The impending advent of self-driving vehicles, for example, will have a profound impact on livelihoods, congestion and urban land use. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource.
A new set of 10 Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, drafted by a consortium of transport experts led by Zipcar Co-Founder Robin Chase, are designed to help guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders toward the best outcomes for all. Leading city and transport NGOs stand behind these fundamental principles, including the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), Rocky Mountain Institute, Shared-Use Mobility Center, and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
The consortium urges cities, businesses and NGOs to support and apply the principles and engage with the group on how to improve them further. Execution will require the efforts of all stakeholders, with a special role for proactive and outcome-oriented governments to provide locally appropriate decisions using all the tools over which they have jurisdiction.
The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities:
- We plan our cities and their mobility together. The way our cities are built determines mobility needs and how they can be met. Development, urban design and public spaces, building and zoning regulations, parking requirements, and other land use policies shall incentivize compact, accessible, livable and sustainable cities.
- We prioritize people over vehicles. The mobility of people and not vehicles shall be in the center of transportation planning and decision-making. Cities shall prioritize walking, cycling, public transport and other efficient shared mobility, as well as their interconnectivity. Cities shall discourage the use of cars, single-passenger taxis and other oversized vehicles transporting one person.
- We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs and land. Transportation and land use planning and policies should minimize the street and parking space used per person and maximize the use of each vehicle. We discourage overbuilding and oversized vehicles and infrastructure, as well as the oversupply of parking.
- We engage with stakeholders. Residents, workers, businesses and other stakeholders may feel direct impacts on their lives, their investments and their economic livelihoods by the unfolding transition to shared, zero-emission and ultimately autonomous vehicles. We commit to actively engage these groups in the decision-making process and support them as we move through this transition.
- We promote equity. Physical, digital and financial access to shared transport services are valuable public goods and need thoughtful design to ensure use is possible and affordable by all ages, genders, incomes and abilities.
- We lead the transition towards a zero-emission future and renewable energy. Public transportation and shared-use fleets will accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Electric vehicles shall ultimately be powered by renewable energy to maximize climate and air quality benefits.
- We support fair user fees across all modes. Every vehicle and mode should pay their fair share for road use, congestion, pollution and use of curb space. The fair share shall take the operating, maintenance and social costs into account.
- We aim for public benefits via open data. The data infrastructure underpinning shared transport services must enable interoperability, competition and innovation, while ensuring privacy, security and accountability.
- We work towards integration and seamless connectivity. All transportation services should be integrated and thoughtfully planned across operators, geographies and complementary modes. Seamless trips should be facilitated via physical connections, interoperable payments and combined information. Every opportunity should be taken to enhance connectivity of people and vehicles to wireless networks.
- We support that autonomous vehicles (AVs) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets. Due to the transformational potential of the autonomous vehicle technology, it is critical that all AVs are part of shared fleets, well-regulated and zero emission. Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.
The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities were launched at the EcoMobility World Festival in October 2017 in Kaohsiung.
“How the flows of people and vehicles are managed dictates quality of life and access to opportunity for billions of people,” said Robin Chase, Co-Founder of Zipcar. “We want to ensure that ongoing developments in technology, operational systems, ownership and business models lead to more livable, sustainable and just cities.”
“Vast changes are taking place in urban mobility, shaped by unprecedented innovation in information, network and energy technology,” said Ani Dasgupta, Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “These principles are a start toward a global vision for how to manage this important transition so the outcome is better for cities, with easier, safer and more affordable mobility for all people.”
“Too often today, the discussion has focused too narrowly on fair competition,” said Clayton Lane, CEO of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. “For shared mobility to be a truly sustainable transport option, we must put the needs of people at the heart and center. These principles move us in the right direction by, for the first time, laying out a practical framework for ensuring public benefits. We hope governments, private companies, and civil society can use these principles as a framework toward more efficient, clean mobility and more equitable, livable communities.”
“The implementation of the Shared Mobility Principles and the related Kaohsiung Strategies for the Future of Urban Mobility is key to building more livable and sustainable transportation systems the world over,” said Monika Zimmerman, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI. “We must support local governments and decision-makers in prioritizing people-centered urban mobility focused on walking, cycling, public and shared mobility instead of prioritizing the automobile.”
“These shared mobility principles, deployed in combination with strong public transport and widespread walking and cycling infrastructure, can help to make urban transport systems more seamless, more sustainable and more equitable,” said Holger Dalkmann, Co-Chair, SLoCaT Foundation Board of Directors.
“The future of transportation is shared, electric, autonomous mobility services in cities designed for them,” said Jeruld Weiland, Managing Director of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Mobility Transformation program. “With these shared mobility principles, stakeholders can collaboratively develop leading-edge mobility solutions that are safer, cleaner, healthier, more accessible and more affordable – all leading to happier citizens. Electric and autonomous vehicles are an important part of the new mobility future, but what we’re all chasing after are cities designed for people, not cars.”
“Shared mobility has the potential to deliver transformative benefits to cities and regions – including reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, lessening household transportation costs, and opening up access to jobs and opportunity – but only if these new modes of transportation work for everyone,” said Sharon Feigon, Executive Director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center. “Changes in technology and travel behavior are steering us toward a critical turning point, and proactive leadership is needed to help ensure the public good and support a robust network of equitable, environmentally sound transportation choices.”
“Sustainability and social equity must help guide the transportation revolution coming as a result of shared and autonomous mobility,” said Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation & Climate at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Ridesharing and autonomous vehicles are already having an impact on what we currently think of as ‘public transportation.’ These 10 principles will point governments, NGOs, the private sector and citizens toward actions that clean our air, curb urban sprawl and reduce climate emissions.”
To learn more about the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, visit www.sharedmobilityprinciples.org.
About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
C40 Cities connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. Learn more at www.c40.org.
About ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading global network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. By helping the ICLEI Network to become sustainable, low-carbon, eco-mobile, resilient, biodiverse, resource-efficient, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 25 percent of the global urban population. Learn more at www.iclei.org.
About Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy works around the world to design and implement high quality transport systems and policy solutions that make cities more livable, equitable, and sustainable. Learn more at www.itdp.org.
About the Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Learn more at www.nrdc.org.
About Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport
The Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) promotes the integration of sustainable transport in global policies on sustainable development and climate change, and leverages action to accelerate implementation of these policies. Learn more at www.slocat.net.
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 – transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. Learn more at www.rmi.org.
About the Shared-Use Mobility Center
The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) is a public-interest organization working to foster collaboration in shared mobility (including bikesharing, carsharing, ridesharing and more) and help connect the growing industry with transit agencies, cities and communities across the nation. Through piloting programs, conducting new research and providing advice and expertise to cities and regions, SUMC hopes to extend the benefits of shared mobility for all. Learn more at www.sharedusemobilitycenter.org.
About World Resources Institute
WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and more. Our more than 550 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Learn more at www.wrirosscities.org.