Sustainable Cities and Communities

Human societies urbanize rapidly. At this time, more people live in cities than outside them. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to be living in urban areas. As such, construction and local government play a central role in sustainable development. Cities only account for 3% of the Earth’s surface, but consume between 60% and 80% of the world’s energy and produce more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, the economic importance of cities is undeniable (more than 80% of global GDP is generated in cities). Nevertheless, more than 800 million people currently live in slums (and that number is growing). That is why Sustainable Development Goal 11 aims to provide inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements.

Cities Rise to the Challenge of Mobility

4.5 billion people live in cities, and 33 of the world’s settlements are home to over 10 million people. Providing efficient, sustainable and emission-free urban transportation for growing cities is one of the goals of SDG 11, and we are contributing to this goal with our electric Zity carsharing service.

Carsharing services enable on-demand use of a vehicle, where users only pay for the time the use the car. This alternative to private car ownership is growing in popularity. It is estimated that every carsharing car takes between 7 and 11 privately-owned cars off the streets. Carsharing reduces traffic, opens up parking spaces and contributes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Zity manages 650 electric vehicles that have traveled over 13 million kilometers and have therefore prevented the emission of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. In addition, the energy used to recharge the vehicles is certified with guarantee of origin from renewable energy sources. Since it started in 2017, Zity has serviced more than 220,000 users and expanded its service zone from the center of Madrid. Cars are now available throughout the entire city, including the area outside the M-30 ring road and other towns within the Community of Madrid.

In addition to reducing emissions and easing urban traffic, there are many other advantages to a carsharing service like Zity. As an additional social benefit, it is the most effective way to introduce the general public to electric cars (people learn about their autonomy and efficiency and about the smooth and quiet driving experience) and bring clean vehicles into cities within a short period of time. In addition, it helps strengthen the infrastructures needed to support electric cars (such as charging stations) and lowers the price of related technologies.

Within the urban transportation solution sector and as a part of SDG 11, we have also developed WONDO. This shared transportation services platform aims to make getting around the city more affordable, comfortable and sustainable. Wondo optimizes routes and integrates different transportation options, including Zity electric cars, eCooltra scooters, Voi scooters, and public transportation services such as the subway, train and bus.

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