As cities continue to grow in population, urban transport systems are increasingly feeling the strain. To improve mobility in cities without increasing air pollution and CO2 emissions, transport systems need to be holistic and integrated. In other words, smarter.
Smart mobility depends on developing compact urban communities with multi-modal transport and pricing options that promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. It combines Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technology - such as cameras, radar and traffic counters, with the use of data from the internet and smartphones. But it can also be as simple as making traffic flow more efficient or promoting transport sharing.
Cities need to take mobility into account when planning and consider growth strategies that organise urban communities around smaller, compact centres where local amenities can largely be reached by walking or cycling. Such an approach requires that land use planning should aim to minimise distances and travel times before transport infrastructure is considered.
And by prioritising walking, cycling and public transport over car usage allows residents to choose the most convenient travel option with the highest sustainability benefits and the lowest cost to taxpayers.