Sustainable Mobility, Beyond a Trend

What do you think is sustainable mobility?

Our elevator pitch is that is about all movements that are sustainable, or in other words that ensure that generations after us have at least the same quality and possibilities. Do not overexploit. Easier said than done. That is why this insight discusses the why and how of working towards a sustainable mobility culture.

Principle of sustainability: Balance between three Ps

Mobile workers are taken into account. The ability to move is crucial for the economic as well as the social cultural development of each individual. It allows us to ‘live’ with each other and ensures that we live quality of life.

And because mobility involves so many costs, some countries are drawing a map of the sustainability principle. People are at the heart of this. After all, increasing pollution, insecurity on the road, traffic jams, etc. are constantly reducing our quality of life. In an environment that is becoming less liveable.

It is 5 to 12 to take structural measures. That is why most be a balance between three elements: economic, social and ecological. Or “Profit, People, Planet”.

Rules of thumb for sustainable mobility

The 4 rules summarize sustainable mobility:

  • The most important thing is the freedom to participate in activities. Even if you have to move around in order to do so;
  • Proximity and concentration of these activities ensure that you cover so few (motorised) kilometres. So proximity is the best mobility. With priority for quality travel for pedestrians and cyclists;
  • If you still have to cover a large distance, it is best to opt for collective or public transport;
  • And only use the car ‘correctly’. So only for (medium) long distances for which there is no solid alternative.

In short: the right travel mode, which is affordable, ecologically sound, safe and just for the right travel.

Towards a sustainable mobility culture

Do we think about the way we move around? Most of us do that on autopilot. In the meantime, almost everyone wants to be ‘green’. Without effectively doing anything to protect our environment. And to make our journeys safer and more efficient.

We advocate a sustainable mobility culture. From Flanders to Europe (and beyond). Within that culture it is a constant search for balance between the 3 Ps. This requires everyone to be ‘aware’ of the following questions: ‘Why am I moving? By what means of transport? And in what way?

And by everyone we mean policymakers, people from the transport industry, employers, employees, young people, the elderly, people with disabilities…. Absolutely everyone.

Reorganising and improving city traffic is key to achieving efficient and sustainable mobility for everyone, but also to creating new employment opportunities.

“Alone, you can make a difference, together we can make an impact”


Sustainable mobility in the public space in the city of Maputo

The city of Maputo, capital of Mozambique, has been living with an uncontrolled growth of its population for many years. Far from stabilizing, this fact increases even more, the inequality between a part of the rich population and the vast majority of citizens with few economic resources. Maputo, with its adjacent populations, has a low number of citizens in proportion to the large area of territory it occupies. This low density urban growth has been accompanied by a change in life models towards more consumerist dynamics. All this implies an exponential increase in the daily displacement in the metropolis for which the mobility system was not prepared.

The public transport Company of the city (EMTPM) satisfies only 20% of the demand while the remaining 80% is made by alternative transport operators popularly known as “Chapas”. This situation has ended up deriving in very unfavorable problems for the city of Maputo. They highlight the absence of labor and the fatigue of citizens, the inequality of access to the city’s resources and a major threat to health and personal integrity due to pollution. So far, the state has been unable to overcome this new scenario because of the precarious public budget and very inflexible structures that prevent a decent transport network from being offered.

Architecture without frontiers aims, in this project, to defend an access to the egalitarian city, under criteria of social equity, environmental sustainability and rationalization of resources. Among the various conflicts present in the system, it has been chosen to act in the improvement in the visibility and signaling of multiple transport stops. This option proves to be the most appropriate for the intentions and budgets of the city Council and the one that allows us to intervene in the improvement of the public space.

To develop this project, sensitization workshops have been given to several municipal technicians on the importance of a good mobility network and a good pedestrian space. It is thus, as, in conjunction with the technicians of the city Hall have chosen the stops to formalize. This election will make it possible to improve the reorganization and hierarchisation of the use of public space to prioritize pedestrians and public transport. On the other hand, an informative signal model has been designed for each stop to provide information on the public mobility network to the citizen. And finally, with the look in the future, you will choose a marquee model intended to be replicated at each stop to regulate the uncontrolled parking and the ascent and descent of passengers at each point.

We have worked on other projects in Mozambique such as hospital waste management in Inhambane

Accessibility for people with disabilities in Havana Cuba

Almost 10% of the world’s population live with some kind of disability. In most countries, about 15 % of people over the age of 65 require some form of assistance with their basic daily activities.

We are all physically disabled at some time in our lives. As far as the built-up environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free and adapted to fulfill the needs of all people equally.

The urban and architectural design requirements of open spaces, recreational areas and pedestrian routes is very important. And it will be the solution to the main problem in the design of an accessible outdoor environment.

With international cooperation we have worked in the project:

Integral intervention on accessibility for people with disabilities and other vulnerable sectors in the historic center of Havana Cuba.

Beneficiaries: The population of large people in old Havana and specifically residents who have a disability.

General objectives: To improve an integral way of accessibility in patrimonial urban environments of the historical center of Havana, combining the respect to the cultural and patrimonial values with the necessities of the population.

Specific objectives: facilitating access to the historic center of Havana in a non-discriminatory manner in conditions of comfort and security for a greater name of people who travel, live or work in the bitter street from the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis to the Plaza del Cristo.