What UK Cities Can Learn From the "15-minute City" Paris - Kapsch TrafficCom Reports

·2-min read

78 percent of UK citizens urgently want to reduce emissions from road traffic. 76 percent blame noise, air pollution and other burdens for health problems – these are findings of the representative survey "Kapsch TrafficCom Index 2020". New concepts such as the "15-minute City" in Paris point the way to prolonging people's experiences with cleaner air and less traffic in post-corona times.

The negative effects of road traffic have returned very quickly to the political agenda after the lockdown during the corona crisis. Councils in England are introducing clean air zones while, in Germany, city tolling is currently being discussed. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pursuing nothing less than an urban planning revolution with her concept of the "15-minute City": Parisians should be able to reach everything they need for life from their doorstep within fifteen minutes on foot or by bike. Hidalgo’s first step was to block central traffic routes for cars and convert them into bicycle expressways.

What we can learn from the "15-minute City"

"It’s essential that cities react quickly in order to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and improve urban mobility", says Steve Parsons, Head of Sales for UK & Ireland. "Many components of the 15-minute City are correct – but it is a long-term concept, and cities need quicker wins that will have an immediate impact. Intelligent transportation systems are already available today to reduce congestion, resulting in fewer emissions, less noise and improvements in air quality."

Digital technology

Many future-oriented cities are pursuing the goal of clearing the streets for bicycles. "But we cannot simply push the problem down the road. Instead, we have to adopt a holistic approach", explains Parsons. That is why the expert recommends introducing a digitally connected mobility management platform. Traffic light control systems which automatically adapt to the current traffic situation would reduce congestion times by up to 25 percent. The widespread use of SIM cards and vehicle-based GPS also makes it possible to capture and use real-time traffic data from all road users to manage mobility intelligently. "I want to once again stress that it is about us all working together – politicians, authorities, suppliers and the public – to develop a strategy that harnesses the tremendous opportunities of digitally connected mobility."

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Contacts

Carolin Treichl
T +43 50 811 1710
carolin.treichl@kapsch.net