What is sustainable transport
Sustainable transportation is the term used to define all those strategies that aim to improve life in the cities and guarantee the right to come and go with more practicality and without damaging the environment.
Although the word sustainable is widely used to speak only of improvements in the use of non-renewable inputs, it means much more than that. To be sustainable is to bet on initiatives that bring gains for all in the long term.
A mobility centered on people and not on vehicles is better for cities, for our pockets and even for companies. Therefore, today you will understand why and meet some cities in the world that already bet on sustainable transport.
What are the principles of sustainable transport?
Sustainable transport follows some principles that punctuate which are the least harmful means for urban traffic. Among the characteristics of the initiatives in this sense, we have the planning of dense cities, oriented to public transportation and with more extensive and optimized road nets.
Encouraging hiking, the use of bicycles and electric skateboards, implementing improvements in the transportation systems available to the population and controlling the use of vehicles are some of the strategies to improve life in cities. But only a dynamic approach, which opens the dialogue with society and puts the needs of the user in first place, which is capable of making great changes.
The cities with the best transportation systems are those that consider both architecture and technology to offer practical, intuitive and economically viable solutions.
What are the benefits of this initiative?
The sustainable means of transportation bring many benefits, both for companies and individuals. Some are definitive to understand how important this cause is and why it should become a flag for all of us. Check out some of them:
- Reduction of pollutant gases
One of the big problems with the transportation modals we use today is how much they harm planet Earth. Vehicles powered by diesel, gasoline and natural gas have limited resources to operate and emit gases that cause the greenhouse effect and contribute to global warming.
Cars are responsible for 90% of the air pollution in large cities like São Paulo. Collectives are more attractive alternatives because they circulate with a high number of people on board and reduce the impact of emissions. However, modes such as bicycles and electric-powered cars or skates have emerged as less harmful options.
Cities that include these alternatives in their planning are generally more efficient and user-focused.
- Decrease in traffic deaths
How many traffic deaths could be avoided with fewer cars on the streets? Brazil is the fourth country in the world with the most fatalities and is only behind China, India and Nigeria. In turn, countries with urban adaptations to different means of transportation, such as Denmark, Sweden and South Korea, stand out among the safest.
Smaller fleets on the streets, more ethical traffic and changes in legislation are some of the measures to curb these deaths. Sustainable transportation is the way for all of them.
- Economy for users and companies
Transport modes that think about the collectivity, the circulation of less polluting vehicles and the adaptation of the urban network offer a much better cost-benefit to users and transport companies. Modalities such as metro, BRT and VLT are leaders in economy.
In some cities, such as Singapore, the equation between cost and efficiency of means of transport is number one in the world, and costs only 8.9% of GDP per capita for each citizen to use public transport for an entire year.
It is cheaper for transport companies and municipalities to establish BRT lines than other modes. This makes sustainable transport excellent for everyone involved in its implementation.
- Reduction in noise level in cities
Cars are also largely responsible for hearing pollution. Even those that emit less noise cause discomfort when added to all the other vehicles on the streets.
According to the WHO, the ideal is not to be exposed to 85 decibels for more than 8 hours. This is the noise made inside a car.
How to support this cause?
The main way to support sustainable transport is by integrating with it. Make more use of public transportation in your city, adopt the use of shared means of transportation to carry out parts of the journeys you make daily and cover the local authorities for constant improvements in the supply of sustainable alternatives for locomotion in urban centers.
The options that each one of us makes on a daily basis have a great impact on the future of the planet. Consider this the next time you leave home. Inform yourself about urban mobility and make each choice sparingly. Consider joining committees and panel discussions in your city to give your opinion on the road network and participate actively in the decision making where you live.
If you need to use a car, do so in a smart way. Organize rides with people who take the same routes as you do, use less polluting fuels, such as ethanol, and consider investing in a vehicle with lower emissions.
The changes may seem small, but they will all make a big difference in creating better traffic in cities and generating alternatives that will make the urban space less troubled and more efficient for everyone.