19 July 2018 #Forum
Experts Discussed the Perspectives of Development of Ecological Transport

The discussion on the development of ecological transport and the fight against pollution of the environment, which took place on 18 July, was moderated by Head of the Department of Transport of Moscow Maksim Liksutov. The discussion participants included Managing Partner of the Moscow Tesla Club Igor Antarov, Professor of the Geography Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Victoria Bityukova, Adjunct Instructor of New York University Jessica Wurwarg, Senior Partner of McKinsey&Company Stefan Knupfer, and Director of the Barcelona Agency of Urban Ecology Salvador Rueda.

The intensity of vehicle emissions is inversely proportional to the area of the road network

Professor of the Geography Faculty of the Lomonosov  Moscow State University, Victoria Bityukova, began the discussion by stating that transport is the main source of pollution in post-industrial cities. Studies show that the highest environmental pollution indicators are still observed in cities with developed industry.

She noted that the intensity of vehicle emissions is inversely proportional to the area of the road network. When cars drive around the city instead of standing still the amount of emissions is greatly reduced. In recent years the situation in Moscow has changed significantly: new roads and junctions are being built in the city and the existing road network is being optimized. And it turns out that although the number of cars in the city is continuing to increase, the volume of emissions is decreasing.

For more than 90 percent of the time private cars just stand in parking lots, and around 80 percent of fuel is consumed running idle

Senior partner of McKinsey&Company Stefan Knupfer stated that all of the world’s major cities are facing a pollution problem. At the same time, the expert is convinced that global cities should cease competing among themselves, and that it is time for them to begin to interact with each other. It is for this reason that McKinsey&Company started working with the C40 organization, which unites more than 90 cities. It is planned that by 2020 all of these cities will become carbon neutral.

The expert also talked about studies showing that up to 96 percent of the time a private car simply stands in a parking lot, around 80 percent of fuel is consumed running on idle, and 95 percent of fatal accidents are caused by the person's own error. However, the same studies state that by 2020 up to 300 new models of electric vehicles will appear on the planet, and citizens are starting to use car-sharing more actively - this indicator is growing by 20-30 percent per year.

State support is necessary for the development of electric transport, in the form of the abolishment of duties and VAT, and allowing electric vehicles to use public transport lanes.

Managing Partner of the Moscow Tesla Club Igor Antarov is also confident that sales of electric vehicles will grow exponentially in the near future. Today this type of transport is perceived as something futuristic and very distant. But electric vehicles are indeed useful for the city, they impact healthcare and economy in relation transport, as well as the safety of transport itself. In order to accelerate the introduction of electric vehicles in Moscow it is necessary to increase the number of charging stations, and Russia now has a good chance to do everything right. This requires the support of the state, which can abolish duties and VAT, allow electric cars to use public transport lanes, and simplify certification.

The meeting’s moderator, Maksim Liksutov, added that car manufacturers have not yet agreed on a standard for electric vehicle charging technology: every company, especially Tesla, uses its own technologies.

The aim of Barcelona’s government is to become citizens, not pedestrians

At the meeting, Director of the Barcelona Agency of Urban Ecology Salvador Rueda spoke about a new element of city policy - superblocks. In Barcelona 85 percent of public space was related to mobility and movement, and a similar situation is observed in Moscow and New York. If a city wants to reduce the number of harmful emissions, the expert is convinced that it must reduce the share of space related to mobility. Superblocks limit movement of private transport inside city blocks, making transit movement impossible. In this case a car only enters a superblock if it is the destination of its journey. However, it is possible to access such a quarter on foot, by bus or bicycle. Studies show that the introduction of superblocks allows a city to release up to 70 percent of public space.

The expert also added that the goal of the Barcelona government is to become citizens, not pedestrians. A citizen is a person who should be comfortable in the environment in which he finds himself, he experiences emotions and they should be positive, Salvador Rueda believes. "We want to transform from pedestrians into citizens. This is our radical idea."