It’s time to switch to electric
13 Apr 2018 – 09:55 | No Comment

In the EU, air pollution kills half a million people every year, whereas in Malta alone, air pollution is responsible for 220 deaths annually. This is one of the main reasons why the European Commission …

Read the full story »
Health

Energy & Environment

Circular Economy

Climate Change

Security

Home » Environment, pollution

Make two wheels part of the solution

Submitted by on 12 Apr 2018 – 12:20

As more of the world’s cities become congested and polluted, new business models and technologies are emerging to solve the mobility challenge. Marianne Weinreich, Chairman, Cycling Embassy of Denmark, suggests the two-wheels approach

Over the last 60-70 years, cities all over Europe have been planned around one question – how many cars can we get into and through the city? The consequence is that cities all over Europe are full of cars. With cars come more congestion, air pollution, noise pollution, CO2 emissions, the lack of and poor quality of space, and lifestyle diseases related to passive transportation.

Some people claim that in the future, autonomous electric cars will solve a great deal of these problems. This is of course not true. An autonomous car is still a metal box on four wheels that takes up a lot of space in the cities and transports people passively. While trying to solve our mobility problems, we must not think about how we can adapt our cities to serve the needs of one particular mode or vehicle. Instead, we should explore ways to provide people with different sustainable, healthy and safe options to move around liveable cities.

One of the solutions is to make it safe, easy and attractive to get around cities on two wheels instead of four when going on shorter trips within the city. The bicycle is the perfect choice for city transportation – it is democratic, sustainable and healthy and can get you to different places within a city, at a rather quick pace.

More than anything else, spending money on cycling is an investment. A cost-benefit analysis shows that the society gains €1 for every 1km travelled on a bicycle – mainly because of the resultant health benefits.

3002504sIn Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, 62 percent of the Copenhageners go to work or school by bicycle, and recently, the number of bicycles exceeded the number of cars in the inner city. This is not due to some special Danish cycling gene, but the result of decades of political will to invest in and plan for cyclists.

Several other cities across Europe are now acknowledging that the bicycle is a great means of transportation and are redesigning their streets to accommodate the needs of people on bikes.