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Sustainble urban mobility must come first: so how do you get people out of their cars?

As operators and designers of public transport services, local and regional authorities and policy makers have the opportunity to shape and structure urban spaces. The best way to make the most positive impact on people’s living conditions, and to influence their daily mobility choices, is to offer the very best options for movement.

During the joint conference, UITP and the European Committee of the Regions asked one of the most provocative questions in urban mobility:How do you get people out of their cars? But what practical solutions have proven to be successful for getting citizens on to public transport? Shared experiences and transferrable ideas were on offer when UITP and the ECoR joined forces to bring together more 160 international participants for this topical Conference.

Opened by UITP Europe Senior Director Thomas Avanzata and Chair of the CoR COTER Commission Isabelle Boudineau, the gathering brought sustainable urban mobility to the agenda.

In Europe, the road transport sector is responsible for over half of all NOx emissions and accounts for 72% of the 27% of the EU’s total GHG emissions, which are attributable to transport. This is resulting in irreversible damage to our natural environment, with a detrimental impact on quality of life and the health of citizens in our towns and cities (air pollution, urban congestion, noise emissions, and more.)

"Emissions from the transport sector continue to rise. The European Union cannot succeed in its Green Deal if regions and cities are not at the forefront of efforts to provide an efficient and clean public-transport service. They are the actors most capable of proposing innovative solutions that make it possible to stop using private cars", said Isabelle Boudineau, Chair of the European Committee of the Regions Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER).

The European Green Deal highlights the need for transport to become drastically less polluting in urban areas in particular, and emphasises the importance of a combination of measures aimed at reducing emissions, mitigating urban congestion and improving public transport options. Therefore the need to move as many people as possible to shared modes is vital, said UITP President Pere Calvet.

“At UITP, we’re convinced that a shift from private cars to public transport and active modes, cycling and walking, is the best way to decarbonise people’s daily mobility, so UITBP President Calvet.

The Green Deal is a game changer, it’s an opportunity. Its ambitious objectives in terms of climate neutrality and more generally in terms of sustainability will not be met if public transport and a modal shift to sustainable daily mobility are not given priority. A number one priority. It’s the bus that takes kids to school, the tram that takes me to the office and the metro that takes you to the movies which makes a difference ”, said Thomas Avanzata, UITP Europe Senior Director.

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