The Future of Sustainable Mobility: Models to Follow and Challenges to Overcome

“In terms of sustainable mobility, we know the direction to follow, the modes and behaviors to promote,” says Jean-Philippe Hermine, mobility expert at IDDRI, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. To show the way, and to indicate the models to follow: “With more and more Madrid, Copenhagen or Amsterdam in Europe. From Strasbourg or Grenoble, France. »

In Amsterdam, taken, more often than not, as a model to follow for its bicycle policy, Carole Pierrot, interoperability manager at Shell, who has been working on charging topics for electric vehicles for more than ten years, also points to the time in advance taken in this matter by the Dutch capital. “Amsterdam is very active today, very committed to electric mobility with charging stations all over the city”, insists the specialist, with also many advantages provided to users of electric vehicles.

A replicable model elsewhere, according to this specialist, who also underlines as another trend to follow, that of the advent of mobility hubs, service stations of a new kind dedicated entirely to electric vehicles, like those set up by Shell. in Paris or London.

A sensible subject

With, however, whatever the initiatives, this big question: how quickly will they spread, become the “new normal”, in comparison to the still majority individual use of the automobile? Both the brakes, particularly cultural, still sometimes appear important. The question of alternative mobility to the thermal car remains, in fact, very often an “eminently sensitive, controversial, political subject which can sometimes create strong tensions”, underlines Jean-Philippe Hermine at IDDRI. Because these alternatives are first most often experienced “as constraints, losses”, he continues, before being considered as progress.

The good news, continues the expert, is that “citizens are finally adapting quite well, quite quickly, to these new constraints, these new developments”. They even sometimes become relatively proud of them, and defend them, “individually if they have changed their habits or as remarkable achievements of their city or metropolis”, even though they would have a priori very strongly criticized them!


At the Forum Vies mobiles, the urban planner and spokesman for this think tank close to the SNCF, Tom Dubois, makes the distinction among all the initiatives, for his part, between “technologies, modal shift and ‘demobility’, it is i.e. the reduction in the number of kilometers travelled”. The three levers for decarbonizing mobility, he explains. “Most of the current initiatives are technological, he continues, with the desire to maintain the growth in the number of kilometers traveled. »

The specialist in new mobility therefore regrets that, for the moment, “and despite all the initiatives put in place today, the results are still modest, and are struggling to meet the challenges”. The car still remains at the top of uses. And, to note: “However, acting on the modal shift, ‘demobility’, working on a new balance of the territory to reduce the number of kilometers traveled in carbon mode, is, whatever one may say, ultimately inevitably inevitable. » Understand: if we want to respect our commitments in terms of decarbonizing mobility.

Territory Development

At Cerema, the public establishment under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, which supports the State and local authorities in the development, deployment and evaluation of public planning and of transport, Sylvain Petitet, in charge of International mission abounds. “We often forget the link between the organization of the territory and the transport system when we talk about the subject of mobility. However, it is an essential lever for optimization »

And, to continue “Today there is a lot of enthusiasm around the city of the quarter of an hour”, the concept launched by the professor at the IAE Paris Carlos Moreno. However, if the concept can have an interest for the center of the big agglomerations, “the major stake for displacements today resides rather in a peri-urban area often prisoner of the automobile for which spatial planning and organization of mobilities should carry a concept of “45min metropolis”, in other words think of metropolises in which heavy public transport, accessible within a radius of 15 minutes maximum, would allow easy and quick access to the city center or to its essential services such as the hospital.”

Open ecosystems

Sébastien Spangenberger, the new managing director of Movin’On, which federates the major players in sustainable mobility on a global level, invites him to rethink mobility within the framework of “open multimodal and multi-sectoral ecosystems”. Only able, he explains, to allow “the junction between actors” – manufacturers, energy companies, banks, insurers, etc. – , in order to reveal the interdependencies and convergences, and to accelerate the mobility transition.

He underlines: “Collaborating very broadly with actors for whom we are not necessarily used to working is extremely reassuring for funders and public authorities. Because it allows to align points of view, to share the same vision, and above all to derisk new mobility solutions more quickly. Far beyond the mere technological aspect or services, Sébastien Spangenberger thus insists on “the importance of experimenting with new business business models”, particularly around “the economy of functionality. »

At Cerema, Sylvain Petitet also underlines, beyond the question of the offer, “the whole problem of support for change in terms of new mobility”. At IDDRI, Jean-Philippe Hermine also explains that, beyond just technological innovations, good examples to follow, it is also necessary to “install a positive story around new mobility”, not just purely environmental and restrictive.

“We have to explain what we are doing,” explains the expert, saying what the benefits of new mobility will be, “in terms of economics, dependency, health, etc., if we want to take everyone on board, and that the general public takes hold of it. »

2023-05-24 05:20:48

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