What is EcoMobility?

Pedestrians waiting to cross the street in St. Helena, California. Photo: www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

EcoMobility is travel through integrated, socially inclusive, and environmentally-friendly transport options, including and integrating walking, cycling, wheeling, and passenging. By enabling citizens and organizations to access goods, services, and information in a sustainable manner, EcoMobility supports citizens’ quality of life, increases travel choices, and promotes social cohesion.

EcoMobility is neither a new kind of transportation nor is it a collective word to indicate heterogeneous transport. EcoMobility indicates a new approach to mobility that highlights the importance of public and non-motorized transport and promotes an integrated use of all modes in a city

EcoMobility is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. EcoMobile transport choices have low to no emission compared to the personal automobiles powered by fossil fuels. EcoMobility supports the use of light electric vehicles, provided that the source of the electricity is from renewable energy sources. Incorporating EcoMobility into the development of traffic systems and policies will benefit local governments in attaining international recognition for the city and its leadership.

Why EcoMobility?

Our cities are increas­ing in size in terms of pop­u­la­tion and size. Our needs for mobil­ity have to be met and at times our actions in trans­port are trail­ing our chal­lenges. A way out of such a sit­u­a­tion is to muster the exisitng oppor­tu­ni­ties in out cities. Sev­eral of our cities already have the nece­sary ingre­di­ents to pro­pel us out of the sit­u­a­tion. The need at the moment is to pri­or­itse these already present fac­tors for success.

Eco­Mo­bil­ity is a means to pri­ori­tise the above men­tioned suc­cess fac­tors namely walk­ing, cycling, pub­lic trans­port, wheel­ing (using any man pow­ered vehi­cle with wheels) in an inte­grated fash­ion such that a syn­ergy is developed.

A variety of transportation modes

Commuters taking the underground in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Didier Gentilhomme

In achieving EcoMobility, a variety of transportation options might be employed. Examples include walking (the most natural and sustainable way of moving), but also using the bicycle, tricycle, velomobile, wheelchair, mobility scooter, scooter, skate, push scooter... Many other devices can help citizens in adopting a more EcoMobile behavior, such as walking aids, trailers, hand carts, shopping carts, trolleys, or carrying aids.

Another type of transportation options still to be considered EcoMobile is the use of public transport, here referred to as “passenging". This includes the use of buses, trams, subways, light rail, trains, ferries, collective taxis or even normal taxis, if low-emission.

Novel approaches that, again, might support EcoMobility are underway. There are a number of very successful car sharing schemes that, by allowing citizens to easily use a car when it is indispensable, actually diminish the need of owning a car and therefore its daily use.

Another area of active development is that of electrical mobility. While "green congestion" is certainly not something desirable, EcoMobility recognizes that small electric cars and electrical powered transporters - power by renewable sources of energy - will have a role to play in a sustainable mobility system.

Global Alliance for EcoMobility - Alliance reform

Launch of the Global Alliance for EcoMobility in Bali, 2007

The Global Alliance for EcoMobility was founded and launched by a group of leading global organizations on the occasion of the Climate Change Conference in Bali, in December 2007.

The Alliance is currently under a process of renovation. Its improved structure will take advantage of existing expertize in cities and help them in becoming more EcoMobile through the support and advice from a Secretariat and a group of Partners.