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New mobility pushes future boundaries

Submitted by Adam Beck on October 31, 2019

Three quarters of Australians still commute by car, but a new strategy from the Smart Cities Council outlines six essential steps to smarter, sustainable and inclusive urban mobility and better cities.

Mobility Now, released as part of Smart Cities Week, was prepared by the Smart Cities Council’s Urban Mobility Task Force, a group which advocates for sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions that build liveable cities.

“Advancing technological capabilities, new service delivery models and unprecedented city growth create great opportunities as well as urgent pressures to deliver new mobility solutions,” says Smart Cities Council Executive Director, Adam Beck.

“Australia’s population is projected to grow by 24 per cent, reaching 31.4 million by 2036. Nearly 80 per cent of this growth will be accommodated in our four largest cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

“At the same time, Infrastructure Australia estimates that that road and public transport congestion could cost the economy $40 billion by 2031.

“We know half of all commuters in our capital cities live within 10 kilometres of their workplace – and as much as a third live within five kilometres. And yet most still drive. Our challenge is to boost transport options that help people overcome the first and last mile hurdle.

“If just five per cent of driver-only commuters shifted to micro-mobility – cycling, scooting or walking in combination with public transport – we would remove 300,000 cars from Australia’s daily commuter traffic, while helping people’s wallets and waistlines,” Mr Beck explains.

The Mobility Now strategy outlines six clear steps:

  1. Adapt and re-design the urban built environment
  2. Develop a new urban mobility operating system
  3. Introduce more accessible and equitable mobility
  4. Embrace a global 21st century urban mobility data system
  5. Create a new mobility incentives regime
  6. Implement new decision making and strategy development practices.

“These six actions must be taken now to address the challenges associated with the ‘first and last mile’ problem and enable uptake of more sustainable transport modes,” Mr Beck adds.

“Mobility Now is not about pitching cars against bikes or pedestrians, but about curating a more balanced mix of transport modes to enhance the liveability, sustainability and workability of our cities – not to mention the health and wellbeing of our citizens,” Mr Beck concludes.

The members of the Moblity Now Working group are:

  • Sara Stace, Link Place
  • Stephen Coulter, Localift
  • Anne Hurni, Penrith City Council
  • Ali Inayathusein, Veitch Lister Consulting
  • Michael Jollon, City of Parramatta
  • Graham McCabe, Urbis
  • Mark Thomas, Serviceworks Group

The Working group had this to say about the release of Mobility Now:

“Changes affecting how we travel represent the greatest transformation currently underway in our cities. This is happening now. That’s why we needed a focussed call for action for decision-makers, advisers and citizens on the key steps needed to better deliver this transformation. Mobility Now is this call, and it’s been a great pleasure working with a diverse and talented team to pull it together.” - Mark Thomas, Managing Director, The Serviceworks Group.

 “The pace of change in transport technology is greater than ever with business as usual no longer an option. Mobility Now urges co-ordinated action now across government, communities and the private-sector to ensure alignment between the opportunities created by new technology and the transport needs of our communities. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with such a talented and motivated team to bring this all together!" - Ali Inayathusein, National Director, Future Transport, Veitch Lister Consulting. "This document tries to fill the gap in Australia's strategic planning about how humans and 'places for people' should be at the core of streetscape design and future mobility. - Sara Stace, Chair, SCCANZ Urban Mobility Task Force. "It was a pleasure to work with other industry leaders at the forefront of the mobility revolution to create this call to action that will support a less car reliant future." - Graham McCabe, Director, Transport Advisory, Urbis. "Mobility Now focusses on mobility changes able to be made now.  In particular first/last mile solutions for pedestrians, cyclists and micromobility riders, without the long term projects required for roads and mass transit.  Our report reflects a great team representing government, operators, planners and above all, everyone thinking like a customer." - Stephen Coulter, Founder, Zipidi Micromobility Insurance & Services 

You can download Mobility New below.