For resilient, sustainable city mobility after COVID-19, these trends must continue

critical news_

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Michelle Watt, Global Leadership Fellow, Member of the Acceleration Team, World Economic Forum & Maya Ben Dror, Lead, Autonomous and Urban Mobility, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum


  • Multi-modality benefited both operators and users during COVID-19, but collaboration may not hold through the recovery.
  • Representatives from business and city governments recently came together by mobility platform #WeAllMove to discuss the trends they’d like to see continue as the world recovers from COVID-19.

Initial response efforts to the COVID-19 lockdown fueled surprising progress in the mobility space. Lockdowns reduced car traffic, encouraged walking and cycling and minimized emissions. One-of-a-kind partnerships emerged quickly between governments, private mobility operators and public transit systems.

With restrictions easing in many countries – and a return to using private vehicles – there is a risk the progress made in the past weeks may deteriorate. Stakeholders from Wunder Mobility, ShareNow, Voi Scooters, Kochen für Helden and the City of Oslo came together recently to discuss these issues and how to build on the positive mobility changes made during the COVID crisis. They were convened by #WeAllMove, a mobility service match-making platform launched in April by Wunder Mobility, leveraging multi-stakeholder collaboration in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform.

Maintaining positive momentum requires a willingness to adapt, an eagerness for further collaboration and deliberate effort from all parties involved. Here’s what these stakeholders had to say about big mobility wins they’d like to build on during the COVID-19 recovery:

Collaborations that unlock multi-modality

A range of different mobility options – from shared bikes, shared cars, and shared scooters – will be key to fostering a sustainable mobility system, stakeholders explained. Making those modalities work with each other has required the creation of new collaborations and relationships.

  • Conversations that forged trust
    Around the world, private mobility companies have begun asking cities and employers for guidance when responding to new demands to provide safe and sanitized mobility. Such conversations have laid the groundwork for trusting relationships that will serve these cities long after the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Collaborations that transformed commutes
    Businesses during the pandemic offered ways they could complement public transit, further encouraging multi-modality. They began offering vehicle rentals to essential workers at cost prices and replacing bus services in low capacity hours to save public monies. MOIA, FreeNow, Lyft, Uber and others started offering night services to reduce the strain on public transportation systems. Via, Didi, Zeelo and others have tailored services to frontline workers in partnership with public entities and hospitals.
  • Efforts that removed barriers to mobility modes
    Additionally, businesses and governments have been working together to remove barriers between mobility modes to support safer transit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city of Oslo is working with e-scooter operators on regulations to ensure the city provides efficient mobility solutions for shorter distances and has dedicated hundreds of public parking spaces for shared cars. Hong Kong MTR partnered with multimodal companies to complement its transit services, and the UK is investing in a £2 billion support package to develop cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and have e-scooter trials fast-tracked in all local areas across the country to help encourage more people towards greener alternatives.
  • Thinking that helped reimagine city streets
    Other creative solutions ensured walking, cycling and micro-mobility was a realistic transportation option in a human-centred street design. They ranged from pop-up bike lanes in Milan, Paris, Berlin and Budapest to free bicycle repair stations in all districts of the city of Oslo in collaboration with local bike mechanics. Cities converted sidewalks and on-street parking to support outdoor dining and curb-side food pick up.
  • Platforms that brought stakeholders together
    Relief efforts also inspired businesses to work together in new ways. As restaurants were forced to close and ingredients began to spoil, one group of culinary innovators sought out mobility partners via the #WeAllMove platform to help them gift food to those in need.

Such rapid cooperation is improving the safety and sustainability of mobility within cities and leading the way for the level of cooperation needed for a zero-emission future. “We fundamentally believe that all the modes have to work together” shared Simon Broesamle, Chief Business Development Officer at Share Now, and a partner of #WeAllMove. “We (mobility providers) have to partner with the cities, the government, the regulators and all of the different private companies to really make this work and create an environment where people can move around the cities and communities in a safe and sustainable way.”

Kristina Hunter Nilsson, Vice President Communications at electric scooter company Voi hopes the industry will continue to strengthen these relationships. “There have been partnerships that maybe we wouldn’t have thought about or might have taken longer.” She adds: “We want to keep up a lot of the positive habits that we have now seen develop.”

Mobility

What is the World Economic Forum doing about mobility?

Mobility systems must be resilient, safe, inclusive, responsive, and sustainable. This is why #WeAllMove, a mobility service match-making platform, launched April 2020 by Wunder Mobility in partnership with the World Economic Forum COVID Action Platform. The platform highlights the importance of leveraging multi-stakeholder collaboration across governments, providers, commuters and more

#WeAllMove consolidates information about a variety of mobility options available in any city, from mode share, to ride share and transit. The independent platform, co-hosted by mobility providers operating globally, will integrate private, public and joint mobility services into a single search and output engine, ensuring a better “new mobility normal” can be forged, regardless of the crisis ahead.

Since its launch April 2020, it has grown to include 130 mobility service providers offering tailored services in over 300 cities and 40 countries. By bringing public and private stakeholders together, the platform can ensure business continuity for an array of mobility providers, and help secure jobs and services that depend on mobility.

New ways to meet future needs

As cities ease COVID-19 stay at-home restrictions, cities worry that progress toward sustainability could disappear. For example, as Oslo has gradually reopened, the city has already seen car traffic return to pre-COVID-19 levels. This is particularly noteworthy in a city like Oslo whose efforts to create a bike- and pedestrian-friendly city reduced pedestrian and cyclist traffic fatalities to zero while boosting usage of bikes and scooters. With even more ambitious goals for the future, the city is keen not to lose the gains it has made. “How can we make sure we do not turn the clock back as it were?” posed Nilsson.

Meeting new and shifting needs will require the willingness to take on new perspectives. To this end, Oslo has a headstart, with experience leveraging different approaches and even looking at mobility “from a child’s point of view” to test whether a street truly served everyone, says Andrine Gran, Micromobility Manager of the City of Oslo. (Such an approach helped inspire initiatives such as car-free streets near schools in the Norwegian capital.)

“It’s more important to ask the right questions rather than to look for yesterday’s answer.”

—Andrine Gran, Micromobility Manager of the City of Oslo

Such willingness to ask new questions and resist tried-and-true solutions will be essential in the months to come. “In Oslo, we have already learned and copied a lot from other cities to come this far,” said Gran. “To meet the challenges for the future, it’s more important than ever to be inspired and learn about the good solutions to reach our goals. We are entering a time where it’s more important to ask the right questions rather than to look for yesterday’s answer to plan for the future.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The AI doctor won’t see you now

Refugees in Greece: MEPs demand solidarity, warn about impact of health crisis

Righting a wrong: UN Fund helps thousands of sex abuse survivors rebuild their lives

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

First EU collective redress mechanism to protect consumers

Study: Trade supports over 36 million jobs across the EU

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

Most people on the internet live in this country

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

Schaeuble wants IMF out and bailouts ‘a la carte’ with Germany only to gain

Brexit: European Commission publishes Communication on preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

The ECB must extend its money stimulus beyond 2018: Draghi reckoning

Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

MWC 2016 LIVE: Qualcomm looks to pick up Hamilton’s winning ways

Berlin ‘orders’ the EU Parliament to compromise

Is it too soon to hope for a tobacco free Romania?

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

UN sees progress in fight against tobacco, warns more action needed to help people quit deadly product

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

Gender equality: an issue much talked about but less acted upon

Health spending set to outpace GDP growth to 2030

Commission makes it easier for citizens to access health data securely across borders

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights

Can Eurozone’s uncertain growth answer the challenges that lie ahead?

Why the most important tool in healthcare is trust

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

Is continuous sanctioning the way to resolve the Ukrainian crisis?

State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

Violence will not deter Somali people in their pursuit of peace, says UN chief, in wake of lethal attacks

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate crisis and food risks, fresh violence threat for millions of Syrians, calls for calm in Kashmir

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

How COVID-19 could open the door for driverless deliveries

First do no harm. Why healthcare needs to change

Can green bonds help us manage climate risk?

The world wide web is 30. Here are 8 things you should know about it

These are the countries where most adults still don’t have a smartphone

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

3 ways governments and carmakers can keep up with the future of transport

What we can learn from Asia’s courts of the future

Iraq: Education access still a challenge in former ISIL-controlled areas

The impact of refugees on the European healthcare system

Parliament votes reform for better European Co2 market but critics want it sooner than later

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

#TakeYourSeat at the UN Climate Change Conference: a way for all people to join the global conversation

Bullheaded Madrid authorities confront Catalonia with force

Draghi to lay his print on long term ECB policies prior to exiting next year

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Is Data Privacy really safe seen through Commissioner’s PRISM?

Marking Sir Brian Urquhart’s 100th birthday, UN honours life-long servant of ‘we the peoples’

Tsipras doesn’t seem to have learned his “almost Grexit” lesson and Greece faces again financial and political dead end

How India is harnessing technology to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Here’s why the world’s recovery from COVID-19 could be doughnut shaped

4 bold new ways New York is going clean and green

Tusk fights back while charismatic Boris goes against everybody in Brussels pushing the UK to leave the EU now or never

From a refugee camp to Davos: one Co-Chair’s story

Ongoing insecurity in Darfur, despite ‘remarkable developments’ in Sudan: UN peacekeeping chief

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s