UNESCO and Vulog Partner to Develop Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool
Built Environment, Global, Transportation, April 23 2021
Vulog and UNESCO have announced their partnership to develop a “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool,” a project that will focus on the impact that mobility and technology have on fostering inclusivity for vulnerable populations in cities across the world.
Transportation and mobility at the forefront of conversations around smart, inclusive cities
Transportation, fueled by the emergence of new information technologies, has a significant impact on the sustainability and inclusiveness of the world’s cities. UN estimates suggest that cities are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions, with transportation being among the largest contributors. Transportation also makes up the second-highest cost on the average family’s budget and can affect an individual’s ability to be employed, the combination of which places a disproportionate burden on communities that are already marginalized.
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way we think about transportation and mobility, altering the frequencies, distances, and ways in which we move. It has also underscored the importance of transportation and personal mobility in the development of cities especially when it comes to safety and efficiency. Women are, in this respect, especially vulnerable since they have a higher chance of facing safety issues such as harassment and assault during their daily commutes. People with disabilities also face greater challenges than their non-disabled counterparts: the few transportation and mobility options available are often inconvenient and inefficient.
The Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool, proposed by Vulog and UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR, is a collaborative project that addresses this issue by examining the effect of new urban mobility technologies and identifying best practices to build awareness and strengthen cities’ capacities in creating smart and inclusive ecosystems.
“Our choice of transportation and personal mobility affects not just the air we breathe – it also affects how and where we are able to move, a decision which often has a disproportionately impact on marginalized groups. By integrating connected mobility technologies into its transportation infrastructure, a city increases not just its degree of sustainability, but also inclusivity,” says Greg Ducongé, CEO of Vulog. “Vulog shares UNESCO’s vision of global solidarity to promote inclusive urban development which is why we are honored to be partnering to deliver a concrete tool that will help cities worldwide tackle two major issues affecting the well-being of city dwellers today – pollution and inequality.”
Promoting inclusivity across cities and industries
Vulog, the international leader in new mobility technologies, has a global presence with offices in several major cities and clients on all 5 continents. It builds the solutions that power the most successful shared mobility services across the world, helping cities reach their net-zero emissions goals.
By working hand-in-hand with city leaders and organizers, Vulog contributes to the advancement of gender equality through its annual publication of women’s achievements in the tech, mobility, and transportation sectors and regularly publishes research on pertinent environmental topics such as the impact of private vehicle ownership on an individual’s carbon footprint. In light of Vulog and UNESCO’s shared commitment to gender equality, the collaborative “Smart and Inclusive Cities” project will give special attention to women who, according to studies, suffer from a higher degree of gender inequality compared to their male counterparts, especially regarding safety.
“We want to strengthen the resources that we are providing to support the design and implementation of policies to fight racism and discrimination at all levels, across all issues, both inside and outside of governments… Such action requires a whole-of-society approach in order to be transformative. We’re fortunate in this regard to not be starting from zero – UNESCO has a long history of moral and intellectual leadership in the fight against racism, going back more than seventy years, and we are capitalizing on this as we already begin to develop ambitious new initiatives… If we are looking to build back better, creating societies that are more inclusive and more resilient, we need to tackle this shadow pandemic – the fight against racism needs to be at the very heart of our strategies to recover from COVID-19,” says Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences
In addition to Gender, the project will focus on four other aspects of inclusion: Age, Ethnic Identity, Socioeconomic Status, and Disability. It will be carried out in three phases over the coming months via interviews with national delegations, city leaders, and transportation officials representing nine cities, dispersed across UNESCO’s five regions.
A unique partnership with shared goals
Vulog’s “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool” Project’s partnership with UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR is an important opportunity to bring together policy expertise and cutting-edge data to promote smart and inclusive urban development in cities across the world.
Both Vulog and UNESCO believe strongly that to ensure the achievement of a truly equitable society free of discrimination in this new age, a collaborative effort between those in the public and private sectors is necessary.
Every two seconds, someone starts a trip on Vulog’s technology. Founded in 2006 in Nice, France, Vulog is the world’s leading new mobility technology provider. Its AiMA platform propels mobility services for the world’s leading OEMs (Volkswagen, Stellantis, Kia Motors, Mocean), as well as new mobility providers (Repsol, Sumitomo Corporation, and British Columbia Automobile Association, among others). Vulog’s recent innovations include cutting-edge demand anticipation and forecasting tools, smart pricing and smart charging offerings, as well as various fleet management applications.
For more information: www.vulog.com