WSP: 20-Minute cities and future transport

bike in front of bus

New research from WSP says we need ambitious national and local targets to encourage people to use shared and active modes of transport. Photo: WSP.

Around the world, local authorities are grappling with a host of challenges, including transport and health inequities, climate change, and congested streets and roads. Aotearoa New Zealand is not immune to these challenges, and researchers and planners at WSP have been considering innovative approaches to urban design and reducing transport emissions to enable us to meet reduction targets set out by the Climate Change Commission.

Recent work considers the 20-Minute City - where all the things that contribute to living a good life are within a 20-minute walk, cycle or quick public transport trip. “Your home, work, essential services, public amenities and favourite hospitality and retail haunts are just a stone’s throw away.”

20-Minute cities are a response to rising transport emissions and sprawling urban regions where long-suffering commuters sit in heavy traffic or spend hours on public transport getting to and from work. “They also nicely respond to transport, health and housing inequities, and bring communities closer together.”

Another recent WSP paper, Where our thinking needs to be to reduce transport emissions, says there is a pattern of vehicle ownership that we need to move away from. “Societal behaviours are shifting to where driving alone isn’t the first or easiest, most convenient way to move around. This can be achieved through travel behaviour change initiatives and by engaging with people from all walks of life.”

Research has shown that promoting recreational cycling increases the likelihood of a person considering it as an option for travel to work.

Read the research

The 20-Minute City: An equitable solution

Where our thinking needs to be to reduce transport emissions

Date posted: 6 December 2021

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