Transforming Kaohsiung through mobility: a sustainable vision for the city

As the host of the third EcoMobility World Festival, Kaohsiung is seeking to become a pioneer in ecomobility, leading by example and providing a platform through the Festival for sharing innovative and intelligent ecomobile strategies and solutions.  As part of the Festival, city mayors and leaders, high-level government representatives and various international stakeholders from the public and private sector will come together to share best practices and propel the development of ecomobile solutions.  The themes of the EcoMobility World Congress 2017 are Livable, shared and intelligent, three concepts that Kaohsiung is striving to embody as it prepares to host the festival and bring all of these key players together.

Livable refers to a city that places the health and well-being of residents at the center, ensuring public spaces and public transport services that are accessible and secure.  Cities can also increase livability through rejuvenating old neighborhoods, beautifying and adapting old spaces for modern life, creating new spaces for people to live, work and play and revitalizing the community.  The basic tenets of ecomobility support the transition to livable cities and communities by reducing pollution and traffic, leading to less stress and better health for residents.

Shared refers both to publicly shared mobility options as well as the breadth of options provided for residents. Well-designed policy frameworks, infrastructure and public transportation systems can provide an enabling environment for shared mobility and promote inclusive shared city spaces. This concept of safe shared transport and space not only provides options for residents but also fosters connection and interaction between residents, thereby strengthening communities.

Intelligent mobility uses new technologies to make public transportation and infrastructure smarter and more flexible, thereby improving users’ experience.  By bringing together technology and businesses, innovative new ideas and methods can be shared to improve ecomobility in cities, making urban communities greener, more livable, accessible and inclusive.

The vision of a livable, shared and intelligent city is at the heart of Kaohsiung’s plan to transform the Hamasen neighborhood into an ecomobile zone over the long term. The neighborhood will play host to the EcoMobility World Festival this October, showcasing their own ecomobile solutions as well as indoor, outdoor and online exhibition areas where innovations such as the first autonomous shuttle bus in Asia will be on display.  The transformation in Hamasen could also jumpstart Kaohsiung’s larger goals, providing an example of how ecomobility can transform the city. Hamasen can be seen as a pilot project, an experiment in working to implement ecomobility in a real neighborhood. This demands not only systemic but cultural change in order to create a forward-thinking urban transportation culture.  In order to achieve this, city leaders, planners and residents must work together to ensure that new ecomobile designs serve the needs of residents, the community and the city as a whole.

In preparation for the EcoMobility World Festival, the city is already implementing an infrastructure for ecomobility in the neighborhood of Hamasen, paving the way for a livable, shared and intelligent Kaohsiung.

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This blog post was originally published on CityTalk on 26 June 2017

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