York shortlisted for multi-million Global Sustainable Cities Challenge

The Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Challenge Works and World Resources Institute, has announced the shortlist for the $9-million (approx. £7.3 million) Sustainable Cities Challenge.

Launched in June 2023, this global mobility initiative aims to help cities prepare for the future and has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people around the world.

Cities were invited to enter the challenge by identifying areas in which innovation would help them expand access to safe, affordable, and inclusive transport; harness the power of data to create connected and resilient mobility ecosystems; and reduce environmental impact through low-carbon and renewable solutions.

In this tough competition two European cities made it to the shortlist:

York, United Kingdom

York is a perfect mix of heritage and hi-tech. With its Viking past and Roman roots, it is seeking to use existing and future innovation to future-proof city mobility.

The city wants to combine its fragmented modes of public, shared and private transportation into a single, cohesive fleet to improve accessibility and affordability, and reduce emissions and journey times.

Venice, Italy

Over the last few years, the City of Venice has been improving its sustainable mobility infrastructures and services. However, its investments have not resulted in a higher number of users making regular use of sustainable means of transportation. The challenge could help to reverse this trend using innovative solutions.

The city’s unique geography requires an integrated transportation system that works across both land and water.

The shortlisted cities will be invited to attend an academy and will receive support developing their challenge design, becoming part of a wider network of innovative city teams. Open innovation challenges often develop and evolve throughout the process as the city’s specific needs are understood more closely.

Kathy Nothstine, Head of Future Cities at Challenge Works, said: “These cities have highlighted different areas where innovation has the potential to make mobility systems more sustainable, resilient and accessible. The Sustainable Cities Challenge will bring cities and innovators together with city residents to tailor solutions to real world challenges through open innovation.”

Ben Welle, Director of Integrated Transport and Innovation at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, said: “By making transport systems safer, more sustainable and affordable, cities can improve access to jobs and education, and improve people’s health. The Sustainable Cities Challenge will help to improve the quality of life for people living in cities all over the world.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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