It is important for urban countries to carry through the ends and aims of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. In large metropoliss, the socio-economic and political factor appear to be interwoven, which may stand for a disability toward work outing possible jobs. However, as recommended by the European Environment Agency ( EEA ) ,[ 1 ]metropoliss must turn to the challenges of environmental and sustainable development. Sustainable development, harmonizing to Brundtland, means that “ humanity has the ability to do development sustainable ” ,[ 2 ]therefore doing it possible for get bying with present demands and troubles without being a hinderance for future coevalss ‘ demands.
Based on the World Commission on Environment and Development ( WCED ) , this paper will further analyze sustainable development, understood as
“ A planetary procedure development that minimizes the usage of environmental resources and reduces the impact on environmental sinks utilizing procedures that at the same time better economic system and the quality of life ” .[ 3 ]
The thought of life in a sustainable metropolis is related with the construct of quality of life, because the metropolis ‘s environment straight affects the quality of life of the citizenship. The inquiry is how can we associate or associate urban environment to quality of life. The environment has a direct impact in societal and physical life. Citizens have the demand and the right to entree “ good – quality, well-maintained leafy vegetables infinites, modern conveyance, walkable vicinities that encourage physicalA activity ” .[ 4 ]Therefore, A metropoliss must carry through sustainable rules in order to vouch the quality of life of the population.
The rapid addition of private transit and generalized ingestion forms have introduced a new concern in urban environment experts. As reported by Peter Bosch, “ autos now provide over 80 % of conveyance. A bulk of metropoliss supplying informations study exceedances of World Health Organization ( WHO ) guideline values for sulfur dioxide, C monoxide, N oxides and particulate affair ” .[ 5 ]Obviously, quality of life is a desire for both citizens and authorities. For this ground, quality of life has to be improved by developing and implementing policies in urban planning and design. City directors are the functionaries responsible for cut downing the negative impact of urban development every bit good as for extenuating clime alteration ; for case, by avoiding turning demands for car-based. Nevertheless, metropolis directors can non make their occupation segregated from incorporate undertakings ; in fact, local policies must be complementary to national and European policies.[ 6 ]
It is besides said, in line with the same belief, that “ metropoliss are of cardinal importance to the execution of the Lisbon Agenda ” .[ 7 ]It is a precedence for the Lisbon Strategy to “ do Europe a more attractive topographic point to work and put ” .[ 8 ]At the same clip, the Commission identifies the challenges of the urban countries and strengths four countries of work: “ urban direction, sustainable conveyance, building and urban design ” .[ 9 ]Therefore, there are several programmes working in this way ; as an illustration, “ the 6th Environment Action Programme ( 6th EAP ) called for the development of a Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment with the aim of lending to a better quality of life through an incorporate attack concentrating on urban countries ” .[ 10 ]
Public transit, particularly in respect to coachs, ropeway, subway, etc. , has been a extremely debated issue in today ‘s modern metropoliss, and a new public transit system has been proposed, bike-sharing, but it has non yet well-know. This new transit system became a roar in 2007,[ 11 ]particularly after successful execution in metropoliss like Paris and Barcelona. Bike-sharing introduces important advantages to urban planning, since it “ operates as portion of the metropolis ‘s publich conveyance system, it is fast, it has easy entree, has diverse concern theoretical accounts, and makes usage of applied engineering ” .[ 12 ]But, the most of import advantage is that it fulfil all the demands as sustainable transit. This is the ground why we can now happen the system being established in “ 78 metropoliss in 16 states utilizing about 70.000 motorcycles ”[ 13 ].
This survey addresses the issue of sustainable conveyance, and the specific instance of motorcycle – sharing. The purpose of this paper is to demo the relationship between sustainable conveyance and quality of life in urban countries. The intent is to explicate this relationship, to research the environment impact that urban conveyance caused. This paper seeks to document that these impacts are non merely related to Climate Change ( CC ) , but they besides cause wellness jobs by incrementing air pollution rates. Consequently, it affects the quality of life in urban countries. This paper demonstrates that urban conveyance is related to ingestion forms and urban planning. For this ground, it is important to hold integrated plans covering the complexness of this affair. Finally, the chief aim of this paper is to give an option to this state of affairs by demoing the advantages and chances of one of the newest and more successful sustainable conveyance in urban-areas, bike-sharing.
Quality of life ruined by urban conurbation and air pollution
The quality of life of the population is influenced by two chief jobs, urban conurbation and air pollution. The job urban contrivers and wellness functionaries seem to be most concerned with is the conurbation of urban karyons and how it can be better controlled. Harmonizing to the IEA, “ metropoliss occupy merely 2 % of the universe ‘s surface but history for half the planetary population, two-thirds of energy usage and 76 % of energy-related CO2 end product ” .[ 14 ]The EU is no exclusion, since around 70 % of the entire population besides live in urban countries,[ 15 ]and, in add-on, there are “ around 1600 urban countries with more than 50.000 dwellers ” .[ 16 ]
Urban conurbation is due to rapid economic development and to internal economic dynamism every bit good ; as tabular array 1 shows, it is caused by different kinds of drivers. In add-on, there is a displacement in consumers ‘ forms, specifically in conveyance, touristry and leisure.[ 17 ]This new state of affairs, with an uncontrolled urban conurbation and a crisp addition in ingestion, has led to several environmental jobs ; these jobs are really complex because their causes and efffects are interrelated. Among the many environmental jobs the metropolis has to get by with are: hapless air quality, high degree of traffic and congestion, high degree of noise pollution, poor-quality built environment, Greenhouse Gas Emissions ( GGE ) , and waste coevals.[ 18 ]
Table 1. Drivers of urban conurbation.
Beginning: EEA, Urban Sprawl in Europe, p. 19. Furthermore, urban conurbation is well affected by the high concentration of conveyance which leads to more air pollution jobs which affect the quality of life every bit good as the wellness of the population. For illustration, in the period between 1996 and 2002, the EEA reported that “ the proportion of air pollutant concentrations exceeded the EU bounds, the results are respiratory jobs and high costs for medical intervention, estimated at 3 billion euro per twelvemonth ” .[ 19 ]
The 2nd issue in our treatment is air pollution, which earnestly affects the wellness of the population and hence its quality of life. European citizens “ are exposed to degrees of air pollution that exceed air quality criterions set by the EU and the WHO ” ,[ 20 ]e.g. in 2003 high ozone concentration reached about 60 % . A Air pollution job for wellness are caused by pollutants ( SO x, NOx, NHx, NMVOC ) and all right particulates.[ 21 ]These pollutants come fundamentally from human activity, viz. “ burning of fossil fuels for conveyance, and the usage of merchandises incorporating organic dissolvers ” .[ 22 ]The highest subscriber is transit, and specifically the anthropogenetic PM 2.5.[ 23 ]The effects are respiratory and cardiovascular diseases which by the way have become the cause of premature deceases in the EU. A A
Today, the EU, through air quality statute law, wants to make a series of aims which involve local, regional, national, international governments, every bit good as an incorporate direction.[ 24 ]As an illustration, the Air Quality Framework Directive ( 96/62/EC )
established the basic rules of a common scheme: it set aims for ambient air quality that should avoid, prevent or cut down harmful effects on human wellness and the environment. Substantial farther emanation decreases are required to accomplish the Gothenburg Protocol[ 25 ]and National Emission Ceilings Directive ( NECD )[ 26 ]marks for 2010.[ 27 ]
In add-on, “ policy steps have been taken for many old ages under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution ( CLRTAP )[ 28 ]and the EU Ozone Directive ( 92/72/EC ) ” .[ 29 ]However, this statute law has to be complementary to Sustainable Urban Transport Plans[ 30 ]every bit good.
Consumption and conveyance, a awful combination
Quality of life is besides linked with production of goods and services and their ingestion. However, ingestion has more negative impacts than positive to urban quality of life[ 31 ]. Surely, the Environmental Impact of Product ( EIPRO )[ 32 ]detected and classified different elements which may hold a negative impact on people ‘s wellness: nutrient and drinks, private conveyance, lodging, electrical contraptions and structural work. Particularly private conveyance, due to its function in “ clime alteration, air quality and sustainable development ” ,[ 33 ]is what causes the “ the highest life-cycle environmental impacts ” .[ 34 ]
Harmonizing to the European Environment Agency, transit is turning so fast in the EU that it consumes more than 30 % of concluding energy: “ It is responsible for more than half of emanations of troposphere ozone precursors and more than 20 % of emanations of acidying substances ” .[ 35 ]Depending on nature of the rail and route webs in metropoliss, energy ingestion and conveyance might be besides linked, e.g. deficiency of public substructures.
At the same clip, private autos have increased in the last two decennaries due to its flexibleness, mobility and personal freedom, even though private autos have become “ the most polluting and least energy-efficient method of transit per rider ” .[ 36 ]Private autos are besides related with the growing of traffic in metropoliss. Peoples use their autos to travel to school, to work, to travel out on leisure activities, or to travel shopping, although most of the paths are short. For this ground, since the Kiev conference in 2003, Sustainable Consumption and Production ( SCP )[ 37 ]“ has become more outstanding on the policy docket. The challenge for all states is to interrupt the nexus between economic growing and environmental impact from ingestion ” .[ 38 ]
Most European urban and conveyance policies, in seeking to make European environmental criterions, “ recognize the importance of physical planning ( including car-restricted countries ) to restrict urban conurbation and advance public conveyance as effectual options to the auto ” .[ 39 ]On the contrary, the EU conveyance system still is presently non sustainable.
Therefore, the EU must take and depict clearly which are the environmental, societal and economic impacts in our urban conurbation every bit good as create sustainable options to this situation.A In fact, the EEA highlights its concerns about the urban conurbation and air quality marks, since they are a menace to the EU Kyoto Commitments.[ 40 ]
EU statute law and actions for more sustainable ingestion and conveyance
It is obvious that the displacement in the forms of our energy ingestion is every bit compulsory as the creative activity of truly green economic systems in order to better sustainable life criterions. For this it is cardinal to affect local governments, concerns and families. At the same clip, local steps should be taken by making more attractive metropoliss through heightening societal, cultural, economic and environmental factors that contribute to better quality of life and avoiding urban conurbation.[ 41 ]A In fact, the conveyance sector offers different chances to heighten energy efficiency.
The European Council and Commission are cognizant of this state of affairs and through their directives they have tried to make equal policies to undertake direction of congestion, transport demand, and public conveyance webs. In 2000, the first Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism ( TERM )[ 42 ]was issued by the European Environment Agency in which it was suggested that policy-makers “ estimate the advancement of their integrating policies and re-emphasize the demand for integrating schemes and for supervising environmental subjects every bit good as sectoral integrating ” .[ 43 ]This was supported by the European Commission with the 2008 Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion in which the Commission, through territorial diverseness, aims at transforming it into “ a cardinal force for sustainable development ” .[ 44 ]There exist other statute law, on one manus, the EU Directives on ambient air quality[ 45 ]and on environment noise, on the other manus, the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment and the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities. All of them provide counsel for European metropoliss in conformity to the Lisbon Strategy, which “ purposes to excite growing, while doing the economic system greener and more advanced ”[ 46 ].
Despite all this statute law, there besides exist specific actions, such as the European Sustainable Cities & A ; Towns Campaign, established in 1994 to back up local governments ; the Sustainable Urban Development in the EU ; or European Mobility Week.[ 47 ]The Mobility Week works on sustainable mobility in urban countries ; its chief aims are populating streets, public conveyance and cycling. It besides serves as “ an chance to fly long-run enterprises designed to heighten public consciousness of the pollution and congestion originating from over-reliance on autos for travel within towns ” .[ 48 ]
The Commission is working to accomplish “ a sustainable conveyance system that meets society ‘s economic, societal and environmental demands ” .[ 49 ]Its precedence is to accomplish an integrating and how to expeditiously accomplish a better conveyance system. In order to carry through this, “ the EU can outdo support Member State and local governments by advancing Europe ‘s best patterns, easing their widespread usage throughout Europe and promoting effectual networking and exchange of experiences between metropoliss ” .[ 50 ]
It is a fact that metropoliss are recognizing their function in carry throughing EU ordinance and use it to guarantee sustainable development. For case, to lend in the Local Agenda 21, to keep Aalborg Commitments and to enlarge the Healthy Cities Network.[ 51 ]Although, European metropoliss are “ following programs on a voluntary footing, it is indispensable that conveyance programs have a long-run vision to plan incentive strategies to advance high quality public conveyance, safe cycling and walking and to organize with land-use planning at the appropriate administrative degrees ” .[ 52 ]Therefore, the Commission recommends local governments to develop and implement Sustainable Urban Transport Plans[ 53 ].
SpaceA forA pedestriansA andA bicyclers. Bike-sharing systemA
There is so a turning inclination of concern among the citizenship about the environmental effects of conveyance and it aims towards provinding and implementing better installations for walkers and bicyclers. The execution of these substructures is both quantitatively and qualitatively of import. Quantitative facets have a chief impact on cycling, but other facts have to be taken into consideration, such as metropolis constructions, geographics and cultural demands.[ 54 ]Qualitative facets have a great influence on wellness, because “ good quality, accessible and safe walkable vicinities encourage day-to-day physical activity, e.g. walking and cycling ” .[ 55 ]
Nowadays many metropoliss are fighting against pollution, advancing alternate and sustainable transport.A The creative activity of multimodal Stationss where riders can easy alter conveyance manners is one of the most of import abilities for urban contrivers. Thereby, in order to do public conveyance more attractive, to better the velocity and convenience of public conveyance, local governments have to better ropewaies and coachs lanes every bit good as cycling lanes, doing short-distance trips more comfy and easier for users.[ 56 ]
Bike-sharing has existed for over 30 old ages, but it was non until 2007 that it became a new public conveyance manner, at least in Western European metropoliss, e.g. Paris, Lyon, Barcelona. Bike-sharing appeared to supply environmental-friendly solutions for urban demand. However, the transit system differs significantly among European states, because cycling tradition is really different. It is possible to place three classs: established bicyclers, e.g. Germany or Netherlands ; cycling fledglings, e.g. France, Spain or Italy ; new European spouses, e.g. Poland, Romania, etc.[ 57 ]
New and lifting demands for sustainable conveyances, protection of environment and betterment of quality of life in metropoliss helped to present the bike-sharing system. The system affect several authorities degrees as it besides influences different driving powers in the market[ 58 ]:
Municipalities: to function the different guidelines on several political degrees, the municipalities start out with green documents and compose green schemes, which lead to bike-sharing and public bikes.
Market participants: subdivisions engage in bike-sharing is public conveyance, e.g. Deutsche Bahn, Movimento and Oybike, etc.
Customers: immature citizens and tourers are a chief mark group for advanced hi-tech services.
Furthermore, the bike-sharing system offers the chance of day-to-day mobility, included as a portion of the public conveyance system of a metropolis. This is the large difference with traditional bike lease services, which are chiefly designed for leisure intents. However, it besides has other attraction for municipal administrations and companies[ 59 ]:
– Efficient usage of resources and development of new advanced solutions.
– New ways for an efficient usage of the bing substructures: motorcycles require merely small infinite and besides reduces the emanation of fumess and the demand for fuel in metropoliss.
– Motorcycles are a inexpensive manner of conveyance with low-tech substructure demands: comparatively low sum of investings.
– Bike-sharing can be seen as an environmental service to back up the modernness and individualism of a metropolis for tourers and invitees.
– As a long-run consequence, it increases the consciousness for cycling and sustainable conveyance manners. This may take to a alteration of head and accordingly to a alteration in mobility wonts.
There are several European undertakings related with the publicity of cycling systems in metropoliss, such as Europe ‘s STEER are Bypad and Astute.[ 60 ]However, the most successful so far is Spicycles. This undertaking “ is one of the Intelligent Energy Europe STEER undertakings that aim to show that the portion of cycling can be increased even more ” .[ 61 ]The metropoliss involved in Spicycles are: Barcelona, Berlin, Bucharest, Goteborg, Ploiesti and Rome. “ They address issues such as: debut of bike-sharing strategies ; execution of communicating and consciousness lifting runs ; integrating of cycling planning in the overall spatial and transit planning ; constructing local partnerships ” .[ 62 ]
The overall end of all these undertakings is to promote the execution of bike-sharing services, which will raise peoples ‘ consciousness, create a alteration in travel behavior and raise the position of the bike to go an attractive manner of conveyance ” .[ 63 ]Therefore, the execution of these undertakings will hold benefices for wellness, environment and quality of life.
As I have tried to demo, in order to turn to the issue of sustainable conveyance it was necessary to explicate the relation between sustainable conveyance and quality of life in urban countries. Although these two constructs might look unconnected, they are non. Sustainable development is a basic issue in most European statute law and including in the Lisbon Strategy papers. Therefore, one of the aims of the EU is to advance sustainable metropoliss. This construct implies that our urban countries should go nice countries where air and noise degrees were non perceived, where traffic congestion was non a job, and where it should be possible to walk, rhythm or pattern activities out-of-doorss.
Harmonizing to this new construct of metropolis and vision of the European metropoliss environments, it is compulsory for the EU to promote new efficient conveyance systems. Those systems will ease the decrease of GGE every bit good as air pollutants, therefore the negative impacts on human wellness would be reduced. As I stated during this paper, there is no quality of life if there is no decrease in CO2 emanations, which cause great wellness jobs. As we have seen, transport is the top manufacturer of CO2, and particularly private conveyance. The solution to these jobs and challenges does non depend merely on European statute law ; on the contrary, it is a affair of concern for all histrions. I am non merely mentioning to authoritiess or companies, but I am believing of all citizens and what they can make to better their life quality. In fact, if authoritiess do non implicate their population in undertaking quality of life through a sustainable development of conveyance, citizens would non alter their wonts, their ingestion forms and their right to utilize their ain private auto.
Governments have to advance a sustainable conveyance system at all degrees to better the state of affairs in our metropoliss, but they do need to explicate their population what are the benefits of utilizing public transit. For this motivation, the consciousness of society has to be raised through runs and best pattern undertakings. Therefore, integrate undertakings have to be planned harmonizing to metropoliss ‘ characteristics.
Finally, this paper shows the great advantages and chances that a new and sustainable conveyance system a similar bike-sharing offers. This system has non been wholly exploited and it has non yet been spread throughout all European metropoliss. However, it is likely one of the most successful solutions to our conveyance by manner of decreasing pollution jobs and therefore safeguarding wellness.