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New alliance for climate-smart mobility 2030

Cities cover 3 percent of the earth, but account for more than 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. A large part of the emissions that derive from cities come from the transport of people and goods. Viable Cities' mission is climate-neutral and sustainable cities by the year 2030. Drive Sweden's vision is to create sustainable and safe mobility systems for people and goods that are accessible to all. We are now starting a collaboration to speed up climate actions in cities with joint efforts.
Människor i en trafikkorsning, väldigt lite trafik och motljus. Foto: Robert Bye, Unsplash.

We want to:

  • Together with our partners, develop a process to accelerate the transition to climate-neutral and sustainable urban transport
  • Contribute to Sweden taking an internationally leading role in urban change through new mobility solutions

In 2020, Viable Cities developed the Climate Contract 2030 – an agreement between the nine cities in the Climate Neutral Cities 2030 initiative, four authorities and Viable Cities – where all parties undertake to make a concrete contribution to increasing the pace of climate transition. The first contracts were signed in December 2020.

Climate Contract 2030 is a long-term commitment that ensures cooperation between cities and the state level. Since there is no crystal clear way forward, the contract will develop over time and we will try different ways. The contract must be revised every year, both at local level and at national level.

To make sure that the commitments made in the contracts really contribute to speeding up the transition, Viable Cities has identified four development projects: climate investment plans, digitalization, citizen involvement and multi-level governance.

At the same time, Drive Sweden works in the same direction, but with a different starting point. In order to achieve the vision of sustainable, safe and accessible mobility systems, a system change is necessary. Drive Sweden focuses on five thematic areas that are based on critical aspects for the development of the mobility system of the future: Society Planning, Digital Infrastructure, Business Models, Policy Development and Public Engagement. These areas need to be addressed in an integrated way that guarantees that Sweden's future mobility is sustainable, safe and efficient, while also being attractive and accessible. In addition, the involvement of end users is absolutely crucial.

New collaboration

We, Drive Sweden and Viable Cities, realize that radical changes are needed by everyone in society to reach climate-neutral cities by 2030, and that we will strengthen our efforts by working together.

As Strategic Innovation Programs, we both have extensive networks with representatives from academia, industry, public sector and civil society, which partly overlap. We both realize that citizens, or end users, must be involved for the transition to become a reality and that digitalization is an important part of development.

We have therefore signed a collaboration agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding, to achieve the Climate-Neutral Cities mission 2030 with a good life for everyone, within the planet's borders.

In the collaboration, we will develop a joint process, Climate-Smart Mobility 2030, based on Drive Sweden's operations and vision, as well as on Viable Cities' mission linked to Climate-Neutral Cities 2030.

Climate-Smart Mobility 2030

The starting point for our collaboration is, as mentioned above, that future mobility is a key issue for the transition to climate-neutral and sustainable cities by 2030. With Climate-Smart mobility 2030, Swedish cities, in collaboration with a wide range of actors, can be pioneers in mission-driven innovation and develop and implement solutions that contribute to system conversion within transport and mobility. The very rapid transition that is required also opens up new markets and business opportunities, nationally and internationally.

The idea is that the process will be part of the Viable Cities Climate Contract 2030. It will initially provide a good picture of the transition within mobility that needs to happen in the next ten years and facilitate the cities' conversion of freight and passenger traffic to sustainable transport and mobility solutions. At the same time, the process must benefit from the competence that exists within Drive Sweden and be incorporated into the program's ongoing activities, for example in the program's thematic areas, in various projects and in working groups. We strive for that the process can, at a later stage, become a basis for a deeper collaboration where we together with each city design plans and activities that are adapted to the city's needs and priorities.

Through Viable Cities’ and Drive Sweden's close collaboration – with everything from cities to startups that are at the forefront of the development of the sustainable mobility solutions of the future ¬– new opportunities are opened up. Cities can act as test beds for new ways of offering climate-neutral system solutions that create accessibility, health and well-being for all.

Two large networks coming together

The mobility transition will create markets for system solutions within, for example, mobility, energy and circular resource flows and create business opportunities for the business community to develop and implement solutions that contribute to a global transition to climate-neutral cities. Drive Sweden has more than 160 partner organizations, including all major Swedish industrial players and authorities in transport and mobility, as well as a large number of relevant foreign players from 18 different countries. Viable Cities brings together 100 member organizations from business, government, academia and civil society.

Together, Drive Sweden and Viable Cities can achieve a significant mobilization of actors, both domestically and internationally, and contribute to Sweden taking a leading role in the transformation of cities through new mobility.

On the 7th of April, Drive Sweden, Viable Cities and representatives from three cities, Gothenburg, Umeå and Växjö, met in a first workshop to identify the cities' challenges and possible ways forward. We now look forward to working together to create even more power in the transition to climate-neutral and sustainable cities.