Whatever the case, you will have to start from the existing situation. A city is no empty drawing board.
If you were tasked to develop an urban sustainable mobility policy, would you not welcome some scientific based, yet very concrete roadmap with practical suggestions? Some direction on where to go? Here is where WBCSD and its SMP2.0 project enter the picture. Who? Indeed, quite a mouthful.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva gathers around 200 forward-thinking global companies that want to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. They go beyond what a typical ‘think tank’ would do: they not only help drive the debate and generate constructive solutions but in fact also look at implementing those solutions. It’s within this organisation that the ‘Sustainable Mobility Project’ (SMP2.0) was born with the aim to ‘Improve the quality of life and the attractiveness of cities with a focus on creating an integrated sustainable mobility system’.
Toyota is a member and co-chair of this project next to other car manufacturers such as BMW, Daimler, Ford, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen and mobility related companies such as BP, Bridgestone, Brisa, Fujitsu, Michelin, Pirelli and Shell. Together, the project members have put in place a practical toolkit – which includes the Sustainable Mobility Indicators (SMI) – for cities to map out mobility priorities and find possible measures.
Reducing traffic in the streets is a joint effort. One person leaving his car at home will not have the desired impact. It requires a behavioural change of many stakeholders, such as:
The big question mark was whether people would actually change their mobility behaviour the way Toyota had modelled it using the Sustainable Mobility Indicators:
Why would a company whose core business it is to sell cars want to be involved in a project which may result in having fewer cars on the road? Here are three good reasons. One, we want to contribute to solving the mobility puzzle that cities are facing.
Two, we’ve built up knowledge on what people expect from a car. Our knowledge of mobility needs beyond a car is still at its infancy. That is why we want to better understand what the issues are and how these can be overcome along with the cities.
And three, we need to deepen our engagement level with stakeholders that are different from our traditional partners in the automotive industry for the technologies to come, namely ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), Fuel Cell, and last but not least autonomous driving.
It’s clear that Toyota wants to be an active player in the field of urban mobility.