As local governments are finally coming to the realization that prioritizing cycling and walking over driving can tremendously benefit their residents, many are considering implementing permanent policies to tackle car-centric city development.
In a bid to accelerate the adoption of such policies, the European Commission has recently proposed an overhaul of urban infrastructure which would put cycling and walking front and center. The proposal falls in line with the EU’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
If successful, the Efficient and Green Mobility package would require the 424 largest cities in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) to create sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) centered on these types of “active mobility” modes by 2025, reports Dezeen.
These sustainable urban development projects would help the EU move its urban areas away from fossil fuel vehicles, reduce traffic, as well as improve public health by cutting air and noise pollution. All in all, the plans would help the EU meet its climate targets, such as reducing emissions from cars by 55 percent by 2030.
The package includes four proposals that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the EU’s transport system. Among the priorities are increasing long-distance and cross-border rail traffic, improving smart mobility services, and prioritizing public transport, walking, and cycling.
According to the European Commission, moving people and goods from fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks onto a cleaner “multimodal transport network” could reduce transport emissions by up to 90 percent.
While the EU has already tripled its spending on cycling and walking projects in recent years, the Efficient and Green Mobility package is the first policy package to make these modes of transportation an EU-wide policy priority.