Mobility is a key sector for climate resilience. Swiss Cities implement strategies and concepts for current and future mobility development. They recognized that public transport and slow mobility are a major contribution to sustainable development and play a key role in the quality of life for the city’s residents. In India however, the national government is focusing on urban transport and land-use in a big way.

In the city of Bern for example, mobility is recognised as an important aspect for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The city aims for a reduction of motorised individual transport of 15 % by 2030. In accordance with this goal, the city has several plans and concepts in place for its current and future mobility development. Some factors for the successful implementation of different measures are bottom-up processes, comprehensive traffic planning and consistent political support over several years. A key understanding is that public transport as well as slow mobility play a major role in the quality of life for the city’s residents. Facing changing mobility needs and an increase in traffic, prioritizing public transport and slow mobility will allow for a sustainable development and to stay in line with the energy and climate strategy.

The urban development strategy of Bern envisions a city of short distances. The city of short distances ensures optimal links between living, working, shopping, childcare and many leisure activities in and around the city. The following projects and measures are in implementation, which can be showcases as well in the Indian context:

  • Low speed and meeting zones in neighbourhoods with speed limits of 20 km/h and pedestrian priority to foster lively communities and outdoor living
  • Building of main cycle routes, with cycle lanes or cycle paths with a width of 2.50 me-meters wherever possible
  • Providing affordable parking spaces (P+Rail) at several train stations surrounding the city in order to facilitate traveling into the city centre by public transport
  • Bike Sharing «Velo Bern» with regular bikes and e-bikes
  • Public awareness campaigns and stakeholder engagement

The city will increase the combined mobility system by creating more sharing opportunities for bikes and cars, developing mobility hubs in neighourhood centres and train stations increasing park spaces for bikes at train stations and within the city for last mile connectivity to workplaces. These measures will not only reduce CO2-emissions but in the same time will assure a high air quality and liveable city!

Sustainable Mobility: Approach in India

In India, cities are large in terms of population as well as spread and most metro cities have witnessed high average trip lengths for all motorized modes, attributing high pollution and emissions to the sector. The central government has taken various initiatives from time to time such as adopting national urban transport policy, auto fuel vision policy, and national electric mobility mission plan etc. for moving towards clean and green mobility also to reduce dependence on personal vehicles.

Few cities like Bhopal due to the urban morphology have shorter trip lengths and modal mix attribute comparatively lower pollution and emissions to transport. The national government is focusing on urban transport and land-use in a big way. National Transit oriented development guidelines are recommended for all large new urban development projects. Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore have already adopted principles of transit oriented development to meet challenges of rapid motorization, deteriorating air quality etc. In times of the pandemic the national and local governments are paying additional attention to active mobility and walking and cycling is being promoted and supported via national level programs and challenges.