One thing that has always been part of my generation is the car. In addition to facilitating travel, it was also synonymous with status – and it is still today when it comes to some brands. Remember that last year I already gave you the tip? As time went by, it became easier for us to buy a motor vehicle, which meant that in São Paulo, for example, there are about 7.4 vehicles for every 10 inhabitants. Meanwhile, in London, England, this ratio is falling: there are three vehicles for every ten inhabitants. That's right, let alone one car per person. Unbelievable, isn't it? Yes, London has the oldest tube in the world, opened in 1863, and public transport, although it seems deficient to locals, is a dream for us. But I think that what happens in London, and happens in other cities in the world, goes beyond these issues.
There is a change in the mentality of the population around the world so that environmental issues come to have more emphasis and, also, there is an understanding that life should be better spent than spending three hours a day commuting. .
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, for example, has raised in her re-election campaign that, if she is re-elected, she will start a plan where residents will be able to find everything within a 15-minute radius of the home. The idea is quite simple: instead of having a city center with everything, each area will have small shopping centers where it will be possible to find essential items for everyday life. Right in the model of the Barcelona superstars that we talked about in the past. In addition, it plans to reduce the number of parking areas (spaces) from 83,500 to 23,500. With a 72% reduction in space for motor vehicles, Paris should start investing in urban micromobility, which includes the use of shared bikes and scooters that we already have today.
Despite being an alternative that helps save money, time and collaborates with the environment, micromobility has faced several challenges in Brazil, whether due to issues related to user safety or suitable locations for the new vehicle modality. If we stop to analyze the case of the capital of France, an important policy brought to its campaign a theme that affects everyone in the city and a clear project on how it will be implemented.
Her idea is based on a suggestion by the professor at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, Carlos Moreno, who believes that we need to have a radical lifestyle change. He says that our cities are still driven by oil and its impact on roads and general urban planning, but that "cherishing quality of life requires that we build new relationships between two essential components of urban life: time and space". In my opinion, it is an irreversible change. Just a matter of time. So, if you are thinking about changing cars, here's the tip: sell it while it's time and buy a nice bike!
With that in mind, remember that the first round of municipal elections in Brazil will take place on October 4th this year. It is our opportunity to again define the direction we want our cities to take. In Paris, Anne proposes an ecological transformation that aims to have less pollution, improve the daily life of Parisians and make every street in the municipality cycle paths by 2024. What is the proposal of the candidates in your city? We will start to instigate them to have smarter cities.
See you next week.