Voi Commits to the Movement for Creating 15-Minute Cities

The progress for averting climate change has been far from enough. We need bold and inspiring ambitions for transforming cities and urban mobility to reach a sustainable future. Voi is proud to join the movement towards the 15-minute city and is pledging action to help reshape cities.

We live in one of the most prosperous times in human history, even though we are in the midst of a pandemic. It’s also one of the most challenging times in history. There’s an urgent need to increase efforts to stop the ongoing climate crisis and the unprecedented decline of our natural world. The science is clear that we need bold and transformative actions to turn this situation around.

Cities and urban transportation are critical in this transformation. Freedom of mobility has been vital for the prosperity achieved during the last century, but also a significant driver of climate change, biodiversity loss, air pollution and noise. There is a need for a holistic approach to reducing negative externalities while extending the quality of life that mobility provides.

voi 15-Minute Cities
Minimising the need for long-distance travel across cities can improve the quality of life and create resilient communities.

Cities also have unique opportunities to transform mobility by embracing the circular solutions enabled by tech. By adopting shared micro-mobility combined with public transit, cities can reverse car dependency and mitigate carbon emissions in a resource-efficient, inclusive and equitable manner. By making the right choices today, we can build a better future.

In the last year, many of us have had the chance to experience something different – a slower pace, less frantic rushing about. The corona pandemic has encouraged cities to reclaim and reimagine their streets and inspired residents to choose micro-mobility.

As cities and governments prepare for life post-corona, we all need to contribute to ensuring the positive experiences are long-lasting. Cities such as Paris have committed to the ‘15 Minute City’ – a new paradigm for urban development. This idea is gaining global momentum after being proclaimed a blueprint for Covid-19 recovery by C40.

In the 15-minute city, city dwellers can access their essential living needs within roughly a quarter of an hour by walking, biking, taking public transport or a shared micro-mobility service. By reversing car dependency in cities, space can be redistributed for social interaction, activity areas, local businesses, urban greening and other activities.

Minimising the need for long-distance travel across cities can improve the quality of life and create resilient communities. It also creates more equitable places, as citizens no longer need to bear the expense of a car to access daily needs. Voi is committed to the idea of the 15-minute city and pledges to do its part to support cities and citizens across Europe to embark on this movement.

Our 15-Minute City Pledges

We Pledge to Liberate City Dwellers from Cars

Micro-mobility allows citizens to reduce dependency on private cars. By switching car trips to sustainable modes of transport, cities become more livable, equitable, and inclusive. It allows cities to trade greenhouse gas emissions, crashes, air pollution, noise, and congestion for public plazas, fresh air, and efficient mobility options. Access to shared mobility can also reduce transport inequality and enable inclusive climate action.

Increasingly, modal shift is happening: a Voi user survey showed that 14% of rides replaced cars, taxis and ride-hailing, and 63% of users combined an e-scooter ride with public transport. As fewer city dwellers want the expense and hassle of owning a car, mobility as a service will come to the fore. We are committed to supporting this evolution by providing a reliable, convenient and affordable ride; offering new vehicle models so that more people can choose micro-mobility; and partnering with transit agencies to ensure that micro-mobility works with, not against, public transport.

We Pledge to Foster a Reimagination of Our Streets Powered by the People

Voi commits to supporting the transformation to 15-minute cities from a bottom-up approach by engaging our users to help capture their ideas for reimagining cities. We do this because we believe that now is the time to sow the seed for the cities we want in the future. Top-down planning has resulted in cities that work for cars; a holistic, people-first approach to transforming cities and urban mobility requires citizen participation in this process.

As a micro-mobility operator, we reach more than 6 million riders through our app and other channels. We pledge to campaign, engage and educate our riders to spark a dialogue and trigger the transition to 15-minute cities by decreasing dependency on short car trips.

We Pledge to Invest in 15-Minute Cities through Our City Innovation Fund

Voi pledges to invest in academic research, innovative start-ups, tactical urbanism, and other activities that advance the 15-minute cities through our City Innovation Fund, a $3-million USD commitment to support cities as they embrace safe, inclusive, and sustainable micro-mobility. We hope to supplement our own resources with additional external funds to ensure the greatest impact.

To date, the City Innovation Fund has supported four projects, including a micromobility parking startup that provides modular public infrastructure. By supporting and partnering with entrepreneurs, designers, and researchers, Voi strives to help increase knowledge to overcome challenges and fulfil the potential of shared micro-mobility.

We Pledge to Empower the Public Sector with Data for Reinventing Urban Areas

Voi pledges to empower cities and other partners with data that enables an informed reinvention of streets. Data is helping us to make e-scooters safer and operations more sustainable, as well as understand popular origins and destinations and prefered routes of travel. By sharing this data with cities and public authorities, they can make smarter decisions to create safer streets, foster connectivity with public transport, and improve traffic flows.

We have already seen cities put this data to good use: for example in Berlin, the city used Voi’s data to expand parking infrastructure for e-scooters. Voi pledges to continuously listen to the enquiries for data from cities and other stakeholders while also being proactive in making vital data accessible and understandable. This will enhance informed decision making to create 15-minute cities.

We Pledge to Inspire Action through Bold Partnerships 

Voi joins a growing coalition of organisations, companies, and officials striving to build cities for living and to reverse the car dependency of the 20th century. We are committed to partnering to reach common goals, and to elevating the voices of community members in the city-making process. We pledge to inspire action by creating a dialogue about the future of mobility and collaborating with the private and public sector players that will be integral to a new vision for cities.

We believe that the tech-enabled solutions to the risks we face can build a better future with cities and lifestyles focused on well-being and prosperity. By nudging people to think about alternative outcomes for our cities, we strive to trigger change and be a source of hope.

This article was originally published by Voi Technology.


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