PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT:Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future — a future which is already well in process. Carsharing is one of the fastest growing new mobility modes, with until now almost all services occurring in the high income countries. But it is by and large new, unfamiliar and does not fit well with the more traditional planning and policy structures at the level of the city. This is a problem. And addressing this problem is the goal of this cycle of reports and events in the year ahead.
But that is not the end of it. Our research shows, surprisingly, that carsharing, one way or another, is an INDISPENSABLE element of any city’s sustainable transport strategy. That said, there are many different ways to get there. And that is what this program is all about. This is not a problem — it is an opportunity to be seized.
There are four things that make carsharing worthy of closer attention by mayors and local government in cities around the world.
• First, carsharing is the most visible part of a broader pattern which many cities are already witnessing — a new wave of different ways of owning and using cars.
• Second, it is — though never a major mode in itself — a key part of a much larger new pattern, which by its presence enforces more and better public transportation and other more efficient, economic and equitable mobility modes for all in the city.
• Third, it is a mobility arrangement that in fact lends itself not only to the richest countries on the planet but to cities in many parts of the world. Albeit with many variations and adaptations.
• And finally, despite its fast rise the fact is that few cities have thus far worked out a coherent and consistent policy and planning framework for carsharing — which While there are a huge number of reports and publications charting carsharing developments and possible futures (we in fact have done many ourselves over the last decade) there is little available that can be directly useful to city government for their specific decision , planning and policy purposes.
The bottom line is that all over the world our mayors and local governments need to know more about this new way of getting around in the city. This program of the New Mobility Agenda and World Streets intends to open up the topic in a series of steps in the year ahead, which can help the city leaders to take well advised decisions as to whether, and then how, to prepare for carsharing projects that are part of their new solution to the transportation challenges of their city.
The full program backgound note can be had at http://ecoplan.org/library/Carsharing-2013.pdf
* More information on this project will be posted shortly here and at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/sharetransport/carshare/