The UN has identified bringing about good health and well-being as an important step in reaching sustainability, it is SDG 3 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals making up the global agenda for 2030. Our vision for cities made for living, free from noise and pollution, direclty contributes to this SDG.
Curbing the health and well-being impacts of car-centric mobility
Rapid urbanisation and car-centric mobility has led to many health challenges for people living in urban areas. Air pollution, congestion, noise and limited access to green spaces all have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. The EU estimates that 40% of the EU population is exposed to dangerous road traffic-related noise exceeding 55 decibels, above safe levels for long-term exposure. Air pollution led to over 370 000 premature deaths in Europe in 2018 and road traffic accidents remain a leading cause of death around the world.
Shared, lightweight mobility provides alternatives to cars, helping reduce car dependency and curbing the negative impact of car-centric mobility.
What we have done so far
- Silent, non-polluting rides: More than 60 million silent, non-polluting electric rides have taken place on Voi’s e-scooters. Our trips reduce air pollutants like PM2.5 and NOx from combustion engines and tyre friction. Based on our LCA, we estimate our 60 million trips to date have avoided one tonne of PM2.5 emissions, a harmful particulate matter.
- Safety education: Safety and user education are a top priority at Voi as we take responsibility for the safety of our service and fostering safer streets. We have educated more than 500,000 riders in traffic rules and safe e-scooter riding through our virtual traffic school RideLikeVoila. We organise local safety events and work closely with local authorities to run community engagement and awareness campaigns around safe and responsible riding and parking.
- Safety features: We continue to improve and innovate features to promote safe riding and nudge users to use Voi responsibly, including beginner mode, helmet selfie and a reaction test to curb drunk riding.
- Vehicle and hardware innovation: Vehicle development advances incorporating significant safety improvements including turn indicators, larger wheels, improved hydraulic suspension and IoT design for safer rides.
- 15 minute city movement: We campaign alongside communities, environmental and policy experts and urban designers around the need to rethink our urban public space to promote health and equity for everyone. Have a look at our 15 minute city Symposium with the movement’s founder, Carlos Moreno, here.
- Voi’s Vision Zero: Zero severe injuries and fatalities by 2030, specifically working to push past the objectives of SDG target 3.6, halving the number of road injuries and deaths globally by 2020. (SDG 3.6)
- Safer infrastructure: We are working to help cities improve road infrastructure and redesign streets for everyone, prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and micromobility users. In Stockholm, we supported Vinnova’s (Sweden’s National Innovation Body) groundbreaking Street Move project converting car parking spots for communal spaces and parklets. We will continue to invest and support parking innovations and infrastructure and raise awareness for the need for protected space for active modes through our City Innovation Fund.
- Health research: Better understand and openly share the health impact of micro-mobility. Voi is currently working with the Universities of Leeds and Cambridge on a study investigating the physical and mental health impacts of micro-mobility. (SDG 3.4)
If you want to find out more about all our work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, take a look back at our 2019 Sustainability Statement when we began aligning to the goals. We’ve come a long way but there’s so much more to do.
Our next blog post in the series will look at UN SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.