The quality and state of the movement of people, goods and services lie at the very heart of global economic prosperity. When traffic jams make us late for work, it means doing as much work in less time. In fact, transportation is so important that in the western world we spend more than one month of every year on the go. As a result of time spent commuting here and there, it is often said that transportation is responsible for anywhere between one third and one half of carbon emissions generated worldwide.
In an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint while ensuring economic vitality, the idea of green mobility has evolved as a relevant alternative to our increasingly destructive modes of transportation. The idea of creating environmentally sustainable transport isn’t anything new – humans have been walking for as far back as our collective memory allows us –, but in an age of intense urbanization and suffocating pollution, the idea is gaining momentum.
Green mobility requires that modes of transportation generate no or low emissions. Painting by Dave Todaro, http://nuvango.com/davetodaro
In practice, green mobility requires that modes of transportation generate no or low emissions, make as little noise as possible, and demand less significant infrastructure. Walking, cycling, and public transit are generally considered the beacons of green mobility – walking being of course the least impactful. However, any mode that is fundamentally free of carbon emissions may qualify.
Not by coincidence, green mobility is many ways the intersection of the three major concerns of sustainable development. For one thing, mobility is an indispensable component of the economy as it is concerned with movement: transportation of goods, people and services. Secondly, the very essence of mobility constitutes important social phenomena that define the way in which populations are distributed: where people live and why they live there.
Naturally, green mobility is a concept that concerns itself explicitly with ecological factors as well, but the latter are easily reconcilable with its social and economic dimensions. After all, time spent on a bicycle is significantly beneficial to an individual’s health, not to mention it removes one more car from the road. Safe to say that green mobility takes a multi-faceted approach to improving the environment.