How Urban Planning Help Us Achieve Climate-Friendly Transportation in Asia-Pacific Region?
Reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector is crucial for climate change mitigation, as it remains a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite efforts to reduce emissions, the transportation sector continues to have a substantial impact on the environment and is not currently on track to achieve the net-zero decarbonization goal set by the Paris Agreement. To address this pressing issue, a comprehensive and integrated strategy is required, with urban planning emerging as a key component in facilitating sustainable and climate-friendly transportation systems that can help reduce emissions.
URGENT NEED FOR CLIMATE-FRIENDLY TRANSPORT FOR THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION
In the Asia-Pacific region, several common challenges have been identified in achieving low-carbon transport. One of the most significant challenges is the rapid growth of vehicles, particularly two-wheelers, which contributes to increased carbon emissions. To address this, promoting sustainable transport modes and prioritizing mass public transport systems are crucial steps toward achieving environmental sustainability and decarbonization in the transport sector.
THE ROLE OF URBAN PLANNING
Urban planning is vital for achieving climate-friendly transport in the region as it shapes the built environment and transportation systems. By prioritizing infrastructure for walking and cycling, such as bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, urban planners encourage sustainable modes of transport and reduce carbon emissions. They also focus on developing efficient public transit networks, ensuring convenient and reliable public transportation options to reduce reliance on private vehicles. Additionally, integrating land use and transportation planning helps create compact and well-connected communities, minimizing the distance between residential areas, workplaces, and essential services. This promotes walking and cycling as viable transportation options, further reducing the need for fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Achieving climate-friendly transportation through urban planning requires the combined efforts of both the government and businesses. While the government plays a crucial role in setting policies, providing funding, and coordinating initiatives, businesses contribute through their actions, innovative practices, and collaboration with the public sector. One example of a company contributing to sustainable transportation is Gogoro, a two-wheeler swapping station company in Taiwan. Gogoro has revolutionized urban mobility by introducing electric scooters and a unique battery-swapping infrastructure. With their battery-swapping network, users can easily exchange depleted batteries for fully charged ones, eliminating the need for individual charging and reducing the overall carbon footprint of electric vehicles. By collaborating with local governments and city planners, Gogoro has been able to expand its swapping station network, making it more convenient for users and encouraging the adoption of electric scooters as a sustainable transportation option.
With its ability to consider the interactions between land use, infrastructure, and transportation, urban planning plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmentally friendly mobility options. Through effective governance and collaboration with various stakeholders, the government can drive the adoption of sustainable transport options, mitigate climate change impacts, and create more livable and environmentally conscious communities.
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