Less asphalt, more silicon: this is the motto we should adopt as we approach the future of urban mobility. To tackle the pollution caused by traffic jams and other forms of urban congestion, cities can avoid building new physical infrastructure by using digital tools to do more with existing resources. In emerging countries, this strategy stands at the intersection between sustainability and growth. Across the planet, it will be essential for climate action and our future.
To understand how we can change everyday urban life, consider the strategies used to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In early 2020, the term “flattening the curve” exploded across newspapers and websites across the globe. It rested on the idea that social distancing and face masks do not eliminate COVID-19, but can slow it down to prevent ventilators, ICU beds, and healthcare professionals from being overwhelmed.