Mobility is a key factor in urban development. Mobility is a fact of daily life, and everyday life cannot be understood without the millions of journeys made on foot, by bike, on public transport and in private vehicles, not to mention commercial vehicles.
However, a city like Barcelona needs safe, sustainable mobility that helps to improve people’s quality of life.
Barcelona City Council is committed to a mobility model which, as the 2013-2018 Urban Mobility Plan makes clear, offers alternatives that enable us to reclaim the city as a quality urban space, by encouraging more equitable, efficient, safe and sustainable journeys on foot, by bicycle and by public transport.
One of the plan’s main goals is to reduce the presence of private vehicles, which currently take up 60% of public space. Every day in Barcelona and its metropolitan area, thousands of journeys are made using motor vehicles (44% of vehicle traffic entering the city and 15% of internal journeys). Their exhaust fumes are the main cause of air pollution and they pose a public health problem.
So Barcelona has decided to promote the use of alternative energies in vehicle transport, reduce the use of private motor vehicles, introduce new mobility management technologies and ease the move to more efficient modes of transport as part of its continued efforts to improve environmental quality in the city.
Traffic calming, the increase in 30 kph and pedestrian zones, and the introduction of super blocks are, in that sense, strategies designed to achieve more conventional, calmer and healthier forms of mobility in the city, without detriment to the use of private motor vehicles where necessary.
Calmer roads, with more weight given to journeys by public transport, bike or on foot reflect a sustainable, healthy, low-carbon mobility model that prioritises the quality of urban life and collective well-being, as well as the creation of comfortable urban spaces that promote community life.