Main topics


SUM Bilbao 2019 “Moving the cities of the XXI century”


Strategies and Public Policies for a more sustainable mobility

The recognition of the environmental, social, political and economic impacts of mobility, both for people and goods, is leading cities and territories to accelerate the transition towards more efficient and sustainable models based on the use of new energies.

The implementation and consolidation of these new mobility models require the formulation of public policies, or rules of the game, promoting stakeholder alignment and engagement. These can address issues such as inclusive social development, urban planning, health, safety, the environment, technology and innovation, among others. In turn, the formulation of such policies might come from citizens (bottom-up), from the authorities (top-down) or from a hybrid version which combines both (policy networks).

Therefore, it is crucial to review the different plans, programs and projects that are currently being carried out by local governments in order to promote the configuration of new models of sustainable urban mobility in the local context, as well as to discuss the relevance of building global regulatory frameworks that guide and generate a commitment among cities to move forward in this direction.

Technology and innovation as solution providers for a more sustainable mobility

The information and communication technologies (ICT) are the keystone for the smart development of sustainable mobility systems.

The influence of ICT is palpable in the whole value chain since it allows: the use of alternative combustibles and renewable energies which have an impact in the energy supply market for mobility; the emergence of new business models, such as the collaborative economy and carsharing; the evolution of software, meaning new applications and functionalities; monitoring through sensors which ease the management and control; the storage and use of huge amounts of data to promote the development of artificial intelligence systems; and, in general, the development of the ecosystem of transformation technologies (IoTSP, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, additive fabrication, etc.).

In this sense, the ICT have proven to be a strategic ally to increase the efficiency in the operation and management, as well as to reduce the negative impacts of the mobility systems in cities.

Opportunities for socioeconomic development related to sustainable mobility

Sustainable mobility is a key factor in the emergence of new opportunities for social and economic development in urban areas, not only because its undeniable contribution to the construction of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, but also because its potential to activate a wide range of other economical sectors through the demand for new goods and services, whose production and implementation generates a multiplier effect in the development.

In this context, the construction and consolidation of sustainable mobility systems will reduce gaps in access safe, reliable and efficient transportation means – with a positive impact in the levels of productivity and the quality of life of citizens; reduce air pollution – which translates into environmental and public health benefits; and promote the appearance of new businesses and jobs related to innovation and technology along the whole value chain.

There is no doubt this is a favourable scenario for the construction of synergies between different public and private stakeholders, whose adequate articulation will generate opportunities for the development of new businesses and, in consequence, the integral competitiveness of urban territories.