Today, Voi outlined their vision in a groundbreaking Cities Made For Living vision statement in order to inspire citizens and decision-makers on how we can all transform cities into places where people can actually live. In addition, we outline the ultimate objective of the micromobility movement: reimagining public transportation for a future of shared mobility.
The vision statement employs a research-based approach to describe how shared mobility, particularly micromobility, can assist cities in overcoming a century-long planning bias toward private cars. Co-authored with Danish urban planning and mobility experts JAJA Architects, Voi’s vision statement reimagines and visualizes public spaces in cities throughout Europe, including Stockholm, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Liverpool, Marseille, and Oslo.
“For over a century, we’ve given our towns and cities over to private cars at huge costs to our health, our mind and our climate. The science is clear that reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement requires far more transformative actions to change mobility, than switching to electric cars. The change we need to see requires a systemic shift and brave politicians to make bold decisions for the future, like Anne Hidalgo has done for Paris. Towns and cities have a unique opportunity, and with our vision statement we’re hoping to open people’s eyes to what’s possible for our future,” says Fredrik Hjelm, Co-founder and CEO at Voi.
If global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C by 2050, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for “transformative” changes in the transportation sector.
“The climate crisis will not wait for us any longer, we must rethink our approach to urban areas and take a holistic approach to rethink mobility and infrastructure. As the report shows there are huge benefits to reimagining our public spaces with a focus on shared mobility as it gives us more space for social activities, greenery and creates safer cities in the process too. Showcasing these benefits is crucial as it changes the conversation about sustainability from ‘what do I have to give up?’ to ‘what we can get in return!’,” says Robert Martin, Head of Mobility at Jaja Architects, who holds a PhD in urban planning and future mobility.
Reconsidering public transit
The IPCC acknowledges that shared mobility can be considered a component of the public transport system “insofar as it is available to the majority of transport users and does not require private asset ownership.” Similarly, the OECD has stated that policies to mainstream shared mobility, especially shared bikes and micromobility, are crucial to accelerating the development of sustainable transportation networks.
“Tech has proven to be an enabler for scaling systems with shared micromobility, integrating with traditional public transport networks and ultimately reinventing what public transport is. We need to think new to challenge car dependency in cities, and this means bringing new modes that make public transport networks more flexible. Shared micromobility is still in its infancy – we have only scratched the surface of the opportunities to increase car-free mobility in cities,” says Hjelm.
With respect to sustainability disclosures, walk the walk.
In conjunction with today’s vision statement, Voi have also produced their first environmental report, which details their environmental goals and current status, including green operations, circular vehicles, sustainable sourcing, and car replacement. In addition, it provides a third-party verified report on the lifespan of micromobility vehicles. A team of international experts, led by the leading micromobility consulting firm Electric Avenue, analyzed their fleet and repair data to confirm the e-lifespan scooter’s and develop recommendations for its ongoing improvement. The review indicates that Voi’s Voiager 4, released in 2021, will last 4.6 years, whereas Voiager 5, the most recent model, is expected to last over five years.
In addition, Voi is currently ISO 14001 certified in Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, and they are in the process of obtaining certification in all other markets. This indicates that their environmental management systems in these nations are designed and implemented in accordance with the strictest environmental requirements. Our Environmental Action Plan is governed by their Environmental Management System, which is ISO 14001 certified.
“We believe transparency is critical for the shared micromobility industry to increase its sustainability reputation. This is our contribution to raising the bar on walking the talk in the industry,” says Hjelm.
Here you can read the complete vision statement and environmental report for Cities Made for Living. Tobias Persson, a former sustainability journalist and the current manager of Voi’s news desk, has led the work on the vision statement, which has involved many employees across Europe, including the executive team. Voi has collaborated with JAJA Architects’ Robert Martin, Head of Mobility, and his team. Each of the eight renderings required collaboration between Voi’s local operations teams and regional experts.