Micromobility shapes urban space, even better if electric
Cargo bikes, e-bikes and electric scooters are increasingly key figures of our cities. But what will be the future of mobility, especially after the COVID-19 emergency? Here is where micromobility comes into play, even better if electric.
Cities and mobility issues
As we have already seen, our cities are facing an unprecedented challenge: they have to increasingly manage traffic and the mobility of things and people.
If you have found yourself stuck in traffic several times, like everyone, you are not alone: according to some studies, every Italian citizen spends an average of 381 hours in traffic every year, losing precious hours of life.
Cities are the beating heart of our economy and as a result of COVID-19 they are coping with an unprecedented loss of competitiveness, in favor of the countryside and a healthier, slower lifestyle.
For years, pollution and congestion have been included in the agendas of political debate, which seek to take measures to adopt and implement sustainable mobility. Already in recent years, many European cities have decided to re-design historical urban areas and close them to motorized vehicles: Oslo for example has created a vast center almost entirely bicycle-pedestrian from 2019 and Amsterdam wants to eliminate 10,000 parking spaces. Cars are in fact cumbersome, noisy, polluting and the worst thing: they remain stationary for 95% of the time or are used trivially for short trips.
“Private cars are the most used means of transport in Italy: in 2019, out of 36 million people over-18, at least 2 out of 3 people used a car every day. The use of private cars on total trips is more than 60 percent, while the use of public transport systems is only about 10 percent, resulting in congestion and traffic in urban areas as well as greater problems related to pollution,” so you can read in PNRR, which has allocated funds for the expansion of transport infrastructure and public transport.
The micromobility solution
But cutting parking spaces is not enough to establish an alternative type of mobility that will lead to the definitive disappearance of the car. The solution within cities?
Electric micromobility, a new model that involves the use of means, mainly electrically powered, versatile and flexible, which are used to cover shorter distances, for example from home to work or to the gym, not to burden urban traffic and limit the use of the car.
The experimental phase began in 2019, with the ministerial decree issued by the Minister of Transport regulating their use within urban areas, mainly at the road safety level.
If micromobility were implemented in Europe by the majority of people (today only 0.1%) there would be great results.
Which ones? According to InnoEnergy calculations of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), if 15% of journeys were covered with micromobility, we could save up to 30 million tons of harmful emissions, create 1 million direct and indirect jobs and generate 111 billion of GDP growth as a result of saving about one billion hours in traffic (more than the entire GDP of Malta, Cyprus, Latvia and Estonia combined). To top it off, 48,000 hectares of city could be redeveloped, equivalent to four times the metropolitan area of Paris.
Not bad, is it?