Let’s Design the Future of Mobility Together

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By Rubén López Barrera, CEO of Aleatica in Mexico

Large cities at times need to make urgent transformations to their design and mobility systems in order to resolve issues faced by their populations. Making it possible for people to get around is a major challenge from both an infrastructure and a transport perspective. The need to integrate both of these concepts, in their different modalities, in a way that is sustainable, efficient and safe has become a global priority. 

Thinking about the future with an approach focused on innovation and the development of strategic alliances is what will make the difference. If the goal is to develop a comprehensive vision of mobility, then it is essential for there to be dialogue among the different players from the government sector, private initiative, civil society and academia.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stressed the fact that if we do not substantially change our current practices, greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase and climate change will intensify. Since 20% of the world’s current global emissions of CO2 are produced by the transport sector, there is no other option than to implement more aggressive policies for decarbonization. Innovation will play a key role in changing the negative scenarios on the horizon. 

For several years now, electric mobility has been gaining space as a viable option for decarbonization of the transport sector. However, it poses challenges that range from the sources of electric power used to how and where electric vehicles can be recharged. Time is of the essence and finding ways that have the different players involved collaborate with one another and make progress will be the key to moving forward with the speed that is needed. 

There are some examples we can look to with hope. In the Lombardy region in northern Italy, through the highway that connects Brescia to Milan, Aleatica’s A35 Brebemi concession has a project underway that combines innovation with strategic alliances. Through an inductive charging system that allows electric vehicles to recharge while they are driving on the highway, an effort is being made to reduce the dependency on charging stations and allow these types of vehicles to drive for long distances without having to stop. 

This project demonstrates that science and technology on their own are not enough, and that it is also necessary for there to be dialogue and collaboration among multisectoral players to realize specific actions. The responses needed to the challenges currently being faced will not come exclusively from a single sector and it is clear that one player working on its own would be unable to achieve a project of this scale. 

The planning for our cities and their future starts with an exchange of ideas aimed at achieving better understanding so it is possible to establish common goals. One example of this is the 9th virtual discussion on Smart Transport Systems organized by the National Association of Roadway Safety, where it was concluded that opening up spaces for conversation about mobility and infrastructure trends among the different players in society is crucial to developing comprehensive public policies and achieving true substantive changes.

In Mexico, the good news is that the main states and cities, such as Guadalajara, CDMX and the State of Mexico, as well as national and international organizations, are working hard to implement actions developed based on a vision of sustainability. The next step is to unite efforts and develop a comprehensive electromobility policy. 

Right now there is an invaluable opportunity to create spaces for dialogue that make it possible to find opportunities for collaboration and establish a joint action plan. People say that: “united we stand” and that, together with innovation, is the cornerstone that will make the difference to achieving mobility and infrastructure that is sustainable, efficient and safe. 

Link to the note: https://www.milenio.com/opinion/ruben-lopez-barrera/columna-ruben-lopez-barrera/disenemos-juntos-el-futuro-de-la-movilidad