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Climate crisis, equitable engagement, inclusive cities: rethinking urban mobility

Climate change adaptation Climate change mitigation Climate change Low carbon cities Global environmental change Urban planning Mobility

In the twenty-first century city, the ways in which cities prioritise mobility is of critical importance, and it’s changing. Mobility has always been an instrumental element of urban life. However, while mobility is crucial, it is a major contributor to climate change.

Addressing mobility’s contribution to the climate crisis is complex, however, because of the interconnected nature of mobility networks, their embeddedness in the fabric of diverse individual lives as well as the complicated integration of layers and structures that comprise cities.

Radical changes in urban mobility are precipitated by the following distinct yet interconnected factors:

  • Recognition that private automobiles contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Increasing investment in, and infrastructure for public transit and active transportation;
  • Efforts to develop a safe, healthy, welcoming and inclusive public realm;
  • Emergence and impact of new technologies and digital platforms;
  • Shifting perspectives on community engagement and input in government decision-making processes; and
  • Changing ideals in urban form.

This e-book addresses the grand challenge of serving people’s mobility needs in cities while addressing climate change impacts. It traces recent trends related to rethinking urban mobility, contextualises the current moment with respect to prioritising equitable engagement, prosperity, and resilience in cities, and explores a suite of opportunities for delivering on the promise of a sustainable urban future. It concludes with a discussion of three commonalities that underlie successful initiatives: strong political leadership, prioritising people and an emphasis on innovation. While the challenge is grand, it is not insurmountable.

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