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why is sustainable mobility important for smart cities?


Shaping Smart Cities of the Future through Sustainable Movement 

12th march 2024

As urban centres continue to experience rapid growth and expansion, the demand for innovative and sustainable mobility solutions has become even more pressing.  

The challenges posed by urbanisation, including traffic congestion, air pollution, and limited space, call for a shift in the way we approach transportation. With a focus on environmental responsibility and improved quality of life, cities must invest in sustainable options that go beyond traditional approaches, ensuring a harmonious and resilient future for urban communities. 

The issues we face.

  • Reducing Traffic Congestion: Traffic congestion is a significant challenge in urban areas, impacting air quality and decreasing productivity. As more and more people move into cities and urban areas, currently 55% of the world live here, vehicle usage will only increase. We need smart and strategic solutions to face this challenge and encourage sustainable modes of transportation.  
  • Enhancing Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: Electric vehicles (EVs) are crucial for achieving cleaner transportation systems. The rise of EV’s allows for cleaner cities and transportation but for mass adoption we need a solid infrastructure in place to support everyone and in turn reduce fossil fuel consumption. 
  • Promoting Active Transportation: Encouraging active transportation is a key aspect of smart city mobility. Everything from walking to cycling, encouraging and promoting vehicle-less travel within city spaces is vital to improving pollution as well as an individuals wellbeing. But how do we encourage this?

How do we turn problems into solutions?

Turning these issues into solutions requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates innovative technology, strategic urban planning, and effective public policy. We have drilled down the top few actions that we think can help us improve our cities.

  1. Investment in Public Transit: Developing and expanding public transit systems can provide an alternative to private vehicle usage, reducing traffic congestion and emissions. This includes investing in high-capacity buses, light rail systems, and metro networks to improve connectivity and accessibility within urban areas.

  2. Expansion of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Scaling up the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations is essential for supporting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. This includes installing charging infrastructure in public parking facilities, commercial areas, and residential neighbourhoods to provide convenient access for EV owners.

    Retail giant Sainsbury's have even developed their own EV charging brand and plan to implement over 750 charging stations by the end of 2024. We need more sustainable companies like this to help us on this journey!

  3. Development of Safe and Accessible Walking and Cycling Infrastructure: Investing in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, such as dedicated bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian-friendly streets, can encourage more people to choose active modes of transportation for short trips. Creating safe and accessible walking and cycling routes promotes physical activity, reduces reliance on cars, and improves overall urban livability.

    One way we like to promote this is through kinetic walkways! See how we managed to include the community in a renewable energy strategy all through walking in Washington DC.

Benefits for Smart Cities

All these solutions sound good but what are the actual benefits of doing this? In smart cities, citizen engagement is not just about informing residents of city initiatives; it's about actively involving them in the decision-making process and empowering them to be part of the solution.

  • Engaging and Empowering Citizens

Smart cities strive to enhance citizen engagement. Empowering citizens through mobility is difficult but combining it with sustainability allows for more impactful and meaningful connections.

Technologies like Pavegen are a great way to include people in their environment. By creating individual experiences within an urban infrastructure, cities can empower citizens to make a tangible impact on energy generation and promote a collective sense of environmental responsibility. 

  • Data Collection, Analysis, & Transparency:

Internet of Things (IoT) has been floating around for a while and now we can accurately use it to improve our lifestyles and the efficiency of our cities. At the same time, transparency in data sharing and decision-making processes is crucial for building trust and accountability with citizens.

Smart cities can make transportation data openly available to the public, allowing residents to access real-time information on transit schedules, traffic conditions, and air quality. Additionally, establishing mechanisms for citizen oversight and engagement in transportation planning and policy-making can ensure that community needs are adequately addressed.

  • Sustainable Urban Energy: 

Smart cities are increasingly harnessing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and kinetic power to meet their energy needs. By integrating renewable energy generation into urban infrastructure, cities can reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This touches every aspect of our lives from energy-efficient buildings to EV's.

What does this all mean?

By implementing these sustainable urban energy solutions, smart cities can reduce their environmental footprint, enhance energy resilience, and create more livable and sustainable urban environments for residents. Focusing on mobility is just one piece of the puzzle but it allows us to take control over a huge aspect of city life... movement!

From renewable energy integration to energy-efficient buildings and smart grid technology, these strategies represent critical steps toward building a cleaner, more resilient energy future for cities around the world.

If you're interested in learning more about how Pavegen navigates the automotive industry,

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For more information about how Pavegen kinetic technology is helping pave the wave for a more sustainable future, contact press@pavegen.com.

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About Pavegen

Pavegen is a purpose-driven technology business that helps power change and generates positive outcomes for people and planet. Laying underfoot inside buildings, public spaces and at events, Pavegen Kinetic Paving harnesses the power of people’s footsteps, creating not only a small amount of energy – but also imaginative, interactive experiences and data, to help educate, engage and enable meaningful actions around sustainability and Net Zero intent. Pavegen calls this Citizen Impact; powered by Pavegen.

Pavegen helps power Kinetic Street Furniture applications such as USB charging, LED lights, and Green Wall irrigation systems, whilst data from the system can be used for public educational purposes on digital display screens. Kinetic Brand Experiences at live events, expos, festivals and public spaces produce data to provide gamified experiences that help brands engage meaningfully with consumers.

The company was founded in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook who invented the Kinetic Paving technology that can now be seen in over 37 countries around the world.