Sustainable mobility – made in Germany
Posted: 19 February 2017 | Sophia Sünder – Manager of Outreach and Communication for the Transport and Urban Development Focus Area at the GPSM | 1 comment
As a network of information exchange and communication, the German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility (GPSM) helps to strengthen international dialogue on sustainable transport. 170 reputable international and German companies active in the sustainable urban transport sector participate in the partnership today and offer their field of expertise – ranging from start-ups, to universities, to established companies such as Siemens and the KfW. In this article for Intelligent Transport, Sophia Sünder – Manager of Outreach and Communication for the Transport and Urban Development Focus Area at the GPSM – elucidates the origins of the association’s history and shares its goals to enhance sustainable mobility for the future.
“If you plan for cars, you will have cars in your city. If you plan for people, you will have people.” There was little doubt that Vicente Torres, representative of GPSM ‘friend’, the PTV Group, hit a nerve when he voiced this statement in Quito, Ecuador in 2016. He made this bold proclamation when the German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility (GPSM) hosted a side event at the UN-HABITAT III conference in autumn 2016, which focused on policies and strategies to harness the power and forces behind urbanisation.
The cities we live in are hubs of culture and economy but, most importantly, they form the backdrop to the lives of its inhabitants and as such play a major role in the living conditions of billions of people. By 2050 two thirds of the world population will live in cities and this will inevitably bring major challenges.
Certainly, growing mobility and increased transport in the newly ever-expanding mega-cities are signs of prosperity and development. But if urban mobility is stuck in traffic – so is development. In Cairo, traffic jams already cost US$ 8 billion annually, which equates to 4% of Egypt’s total GDP. 85% of the population commutes more than one hour to work every single day. Tremendously polluted cities like Beijing or Dhaka already serve to illustrate the urgent need to transition to low-carbon and clean urban mobility solutions.
The important question to address is therefore: