Thinking Cities magazine #17
Moving forward without leaving anyone behind
For already some decades, cities worldwide have been aware of the importance of employing technological innovation to become smart and achieve their policy objectives. Eventually, they realised that being smart was not enough per se - smart cities and innovations also needed to be sustainable.
Nowadays, local governments and stakeholders alike are starting to reach another crucial realisation: cities must not only be smart and sustainable but, first and foremost, they need to be inclusive.
How can then a city be smart, sustainable, and inclusive at the same time? How can we facilitate the creation of inclusive transportation? And what kind of technological innovations and disruptive actions could we employ to achieve this?
At POLIS, we believe in beginning the discussions nobody is willing to start. We believe in sharing knowledge and learning from each other. We believe in innovation. We believe in green mobility. We believe in placing citizens first.
We hope that this Thinking Cities issue will help you navigate your doubts and inspire you to enhance inclusivity by being agents of local change. After all, cities are changing, and we are changing with them.
The Inclusive City
The Thinking Cities issue "The Inclusive City" focuses on equality and equity in urban mobility. It sheds light on usually overlooked yet crucial urban topics, such as queer representation in mobility devising and gendered violence in transport. This issue aims to be the spark that starts further, meaningful conversations around inclusion and inclusivity in urban mobility.
Above all, this issue showcases how innovative cities, regions and leading mobility operators are bringing inclusion and inclusivity to cities for the benefit of all. From Leuven, the new president of POLIS, and its outstanding inclusive mobility standpoint, to Madrid's wayfinding application to facilitate multi-modal transfers, touching upon Volvo's experience in advancing electrification and Superpedestrian and Voi's takes on micromobility.
Moreover, "The Inclusive City" includes insights into special projects such as ReVeAL, SPROUT, SURF and INDIMO, as well as priceless interviews with prominent mobility experts such as European Cyclists Federation's CEO Jill Warren, change-maker Monica Garrison (Black Girls Do Bike), Karel Martens (author of Transport Justice: Designing Fair Transportation Systems and professor at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), and Matthew Baldwin, European Coordinator for Road Safety and Sustainable Mobility at the European Commission and Mission Manager for the Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities Mission.
We can no longer afford to drag our feet; those reliant on the most unsustainable transit means are often the most underserved and vulnerable groups. At the same time, new solutions mean new, diverse ways of thinking. There will be no sustainable future without equity, and Green Deal goals will remain pipe dreams if these communities remain excluded.
As we learn across this magazine and our Annual Conference, no man, woman, city or region is an island; for truly sustainable mobility, we must all be on board – in every sense.
Karen Vancluysen, POLIS Secretary General