Encouraging people to leave their cars behind, by improving the quality and efficiency of urban transport systems could half the amount of carbon emissions in a space of 30 years. According to scientists from University of California, in addition to tackling climate change, the approach could result in $100 trillion excess savings.
The report was released during the UN Habitat III meeting, and outlines the importance of providing people with greener and faster alternatives to their vehicles. The authors from the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), point out that this would be the most cost-effective way to tackle the problem of emissions and climate change. Such approach will also significantly contribute to reduction in number of premature deaths and pollution-related illnesses.
In the report, Michael Replogle, managing director of ITDP and team, provide various scenarios to illustrate the benefits of cycling and walking. Their model also suggests ways to minimize road constructions and need of additional parking spaces. The authors suggest that if society decides to continue with “business as usual” we might face doubling of emissions from urban transportation as early as in 2050, mainly because of increased congestion.
The authors suggest that governments and transport institutions should work together towards finding an effective solution to this pressing problem. Public transport, especially fast electric transit systems, more bike lanes, and green spaces for walking, should be encouraged.
Many cities around the world are already offering green transport alternatives for urban areas. What is more, most of these models are not only extremely successful and popular, but they also serve as an example to others. The cases are numerous, including bike sharing programs, better underground systems, electric public transport buses and wireless charging stations, even cable cars flying over the city.
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