What UK cities can learn from the “15-minute City” Paris.
- Road traffic largest source of air pollution in cities according to WHO
- 73% of UK citizens see quality of life as being impaired by emissions
London. October 15, 2020 – 78 percent of UK citizens urgently want to reduce emissions from road traffic. 76 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. Councils in England are introducing clean air zones while, in Germany, city tolling is currently being discussed. 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 centres, 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”.
“It’s essential that cities react quickly in order to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and improve urban mobility”, says Steve Parsons, Head of Sales for UK & Ireland. “Many components of the 15-minute City are correct – but it is a long-term concept, and cities need quicker wins that will have an immediate impact. Intelligent transportation systems are already available today to reduce congestion, resulting in fewer emissions, less noise and improvements in air quality. By working together, we can lay the basis for sustainable improvements that truly benefit the health and social wellbeing of us all.”
Digital technology provides opportunities.
Many future-oriented cities are pursuing the goal of clearing the streets for bicycles. “But we cannot simply push the problem down the road. Instead, we have to adopt a holistic approach”, explains Parsons. That is why the expert recommends introducing a digitally connected mobility management platform. This includes, for example, traffic light control systems which automatically adapt to the current traffic situation. In pilot 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. “I want to once again stress that it is about us all working together – politicians, authorities, suppliers and the public – to develop a strategy that harnesses the tremendous opportunities of digitally connected mobility. We have the tools to prolong people’s experience with cleaner air and less traffic in post-corona times.”
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.