In collaboration with The Cycling Embassy of Denmark, State of Green just published their newest white paper on sustainable urban transportation. Each white paper from State of Green summarizes the sustainable best practices and experiences from Denmark on various areas. So far State of Green has published state of the art solutions on mostly anything, from how to finance green transition, to smart buildings, to urban drainage systems.
The importance of sustainable urban transportation
Sustainable urban transportation is paramount to securing the quality of life for future generations. In Europe 60% of all inhabitants live in urban areas, and an average of 40 % of all CO2 emissions from all transportation come from urban mobility. This translates to a massive potential for reducing pollution for the majority of the population, if urban mobility is shifted to sustainable alternatives. Obviously cycling is just one of many potential sustainable mobility solutions, but combined with public transportation, cycling is the healthiest and most sustainable type of mobility, even in the 21st century – especially in the 21st century.
The bike’s role in future urban mobility
The key thing to note here is the word ‘combined‘. 56% of Copenhageners who work or study in the city commute by bike and only 14% use the car. However going long distances can be difficult on a bike, especially if one is not a seasoned rider or is transporting children or other unhandy objects, so it is naive to think all mobility can be undertaken by bike. Of course recent leaps forward in technology for electric bikes and cargo bikes have greatly diminished the advantages of any car, however these bikes are still (and properly always will be) rather expensive, making them an impossible alternative for students, the disabled and so forth.
That is why this white paper include a ton of alternative possibilities for combining cycling with other sustainable types of transportation. Be it electric car share systems, electric bike share systems, or the possibility to bring your bike on the train for free, innovative ideas need to encompass a world where commuters are no longer just cyclists, just drivers, or just users of public transportation. Increasingly the modern city dweller, make several different mobility choices each day, depending on their momentary needs. Intermodality is this decades new buzzword in urban transportation, and without it we cannot reach truly sustainable cities.
State of Green is a government funded Danish programme which gathers and shares information on Danish solutions to climate and environmental challenges. Of the 17 contributors to the white paper, 13 are members of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. The steering commitee of the white paper included the Danish EV alliance, the Danish Transport Federation, and the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. In Denmark around 30% of CO2 emissions come from the transport sector.