What Spanish cities can learn from the “15-minute City” Paris.
- Road traffic largest source of air pollution in cities according to WHO
- 81% of Spanish citizens see quality of life as being impaired by emissions
Madrid. October 15, 2020 – 80 percent of Spanish citizens urgently want to reduce emissions from road traffic. 82 percent blame noise, air pollution and other burdens for health problems – these are findings of the representative survey “Kapsch TrafficCom Index 2020”. New concepts such as the “15-minute City“ in Paris point the way to prolonging people's experiences with cleaner air and less traffic in post-corona times.
The negative effects of road traffic have returned very quickly to the political agenda after the lockdown during the corona crisis. While Spain is gradually moving towards zero-emissions mobility, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pursuing nothing less than an urban planning revolution with her concept of the "15-minute City": Parisians should be able to reach everything they need for life from their doorstep within fifteen minutes on foot or by bike: grocery stores, health centers, schools, parks and workplaces. To make this possible, Hidalgo’s first step was to block central traffic routes for cars and convert them into bicycle expressways.
What we can learn from the “15-minute City”.
“Paris has managed to react quickly to the pandemic with a new concept of mobility, facilitating social distancing for the population,” says Javier Aguirre, President of Kapsch TrafficCom for Spain and Portugal. “The concept of the 15-minute City is a good one, but it is a very long-term approach that needs a lot of time to be implemented. To keep traffic-related emissions at current levels and to reduce them even further in the future, intelligent transport systems are now available. They allow rapid improvements and at the same time lay the foundation for flexible long-term changes.”
Digital technology provides opportunities.
Many future-oriented cities are pursuing the goal of clearing the streets for bicycles and pedestrians. “But if the main traffic only moves to other districts of the city, there is no significant impact,” explains Javier Aguirre. For this reason, he recommends introducing digitally connected mobility management. This includes, for example, traffic light control systems which automatically adapt to the current traffic situation. In cities, this would reduce congestion times by up to 25 percent. The widespread use of SIM cards and vehicle-based GPS also makes it possible to capture and use real-time traffic data from all road users to manage mobility intelligently. “To be successful, politicians should work to develop a strategy that takes advantage of the opportunities of digitally connected mobility. Instead of introducing driving bans for cars, it is more important to holistically manage and thus improve people's mobility. There are intelligent solutions for cities that help to ensure cleaner air and less traffic in the post-Coronavirus era.”
The survey results reveal a need for action.
About the survey “Kapsch TrafficCom Index”.
The Kapsch TrafficCom index was conducted with the support of a professional market research institute. A total of 9,000 representative in nine countries were asked their views on their current traffic situation, road congestion, and strategies to improve traffic management: USA (n=1,000), Argentina (n=1,000), Chile (n=1,000), UK (n=1,000), Germany (n=1,000), Austria (n=1,000), France (n=1,000), Spain (n=1,000), Australia (n=1,000).
Kapsch TrafficCom is a globally renowned provider of transportation solutions for sustainable mobility. Innovative solutions in the application fields of tolling, tolling services, traffic management and demand management contribute to a healthy world without congestion.
Kapsch has brought projects to fruition in more than 50 countries around the globe. With one-stop solutions, the company covers the entire value chain of customers, from components to design and implementation to the operation of systems.
As part of the Kapsch Group and headquartered in Vienna, Kapsch TrafficCom has subsidiaries and branches in more than 30 countries. It has been listed in the Prime Market segment of the Vienna Stock Exchange since 2007 (ticker symbol: KTCG). In its 2019/20 financial year, around 5,100 employees generated revenues of EUR 731.2 million.