The rapid pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles and networks is filled with both opportunity and risk. The impending advent of self-driving vehicles, for example, will have a profound impact on livelihoods, congestion and urban land use. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource. No one in the transport community has exemplified this risk better than Zipcar Co-Founder Robin Chase, with the often-cited Heaven or Hell scenario. “Heaven” is a future where automated vehicles are completely shared, reducing congestion and improving streets and accessibility for everyone, while “Hell” is more privately-owned vehicles clogging the streets, even more car-oriented land use, and increased sprawl.
To help move us closer to heaven, Chase, in partnership with ITDP and a consortium of transport experts, has created the 10 Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, which are designed to help guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders toward the best outcomes for all. Leading city and transport NGOs stand behind these fundamental principles, including the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), Rocky Mountain Institute, Shared-Use Mobility Center, and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
The consortium urges cities, businesses and NGOs to support and apply the principles and engage with the group on how to improve them further. Execution will require the efforts of all stakeholders, with a special role for proactive and outcome-oriented governments to provide locally appropriate decisions using all the tools over which they have jurisdiction.
“Too often today, the discussion has focused too narrowly on fair competition,” said ITDP CEO Clayton Lane. “For shared mobility to be a truly sustainable transport option, we must put the needs of people at the heart and center. These principles move us in the right direction by, for the first time, laying out a practical framework for ensuring public benefits. We hope governments, private companies, and civil society can use these principles as a framework toward more efficient, clean mobility and more equitable, livable communities.”
To learn more about the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, visit www.sharedmobilityprinciples.org.