City of York Council has been selected to take part in an international initiative aimed at developing data driven and carbon reducing approaches for transport systems.
It is one of 10 cities shortlisted for the $9 million Toyota Mobility Foundation Sustainable Cities Challenge, the only one in the UK and one of two in Europe, having been selected from over 150 entrants.
The council will be invited to attend a capacity building academy and receive support in developing its challenge design, becoming part of a wider network of city teams.
Three cities from the shortlist will be selected to launch their own city challenges, calling on global innovators to work with them, in mid-2024. The foundation will support these over two years.
York’s challenge would seek to support sustainable choices in the modes of transport while increasing the affordability of passenger goods and movements. Transport accounts for over a third of the city’s carbon emissions.
While the current focus of the entry is on cohesive virtual fleets, the team will explore the possibilities with other mobility issues, working with local stakeholder to identify how they can best support mobility systems. The council emphasised that innovation challenges often evolve throughout their process.
Preparing for the future
Cllr Pete Kilbane, York’s deputy leader and executive member for economy and transport, said: “Our council plan, One City for all, makes very clear that our focus on our core commitments – creating equal opportunity, finding innovative ways to make the city more affordable, tackling climate change, and improving health and wellbeing – means preparing for the future, adapting our city to extreme climate events and enhancing our environment for future generations as well as delivering sustainable, accessible transport for all.
“The city centre challenges of York’s medieval street pattern means that getting transport right for everybody requires significant care, careful consultation and ambitious innovation to make sure we assign limited shared space efficiently, dynamically, and sustainably.
“It is a significant credit to York that we have been included in this global list of world leading cities. This challenge will help us to get the innovation needed to achieve a better balance between people and goods across a range of competing mobility needs and vehicle types, improving mobility for the people and businesses of York.
“This is a major boost as we embark on the very significant and broad Our Big Transport Conversation consultation we are carrying out from later this month, as part of our commitment to reducing vehicle miles by 20% and delivering a transport infrastructure here in York.”
The other cities selected for the challenge shortlist are Bengaluru and Varanasi in India, Detroit and New Orleans in the US, Fortaleza in Brazil, Medellin in Colombia, Mexico City, Seberang Perai in Malaysia, and Venice in Italy.