My personal pledge, vision and conviction.
By Maxim Nohroudi, founder and Co-CEO of door2door
On 31st October, we celebrated „World Cities Day“ and yes indeed it was a celebration: we are living in exciting (and challenging) times for our planet. A time full of opportunities and chances. By embracing these chances, our generation can truly make cities a better, smarter and more joyful place to live. Cities with less congestion, less emissions, fewer cars and fewer parking spaces blocking our precious landscape. Cities with cleaner air, more recreational areas and less time spent on the commute, with better transport systems that are available to everyone — regardless of race, gender or income.
This positive vision, full of opportunity, responsibility and readiness-to-act, is what drives me and my staff of 100 exceptionally talented people each day at work. This vision and personal conviction to really make the world a better place is why I founded door2door, together with my dear friend Tom Kirschbaum. In light of the „World Cities Day“ I would like to take you on a little journey on how to create sustainable cities.
Right now, we all witness how cities are being placed more and more under pressure. We all enjoy the electrifying, thrilling and stimulating atmosphere of urbanized areas. We can follow our career opportunities in such places, participate in vibrant cultural scenes and live our freedom in many instances.
However, we can also feel the strain of a rising urban population: congested roads, time wasted on our commute, polluted air or lack of green spaces, for example.
Thankfully, we as human beings have the wonderful ability to find our way out of literally any problem, overcoming any challenge with our creativity, our conviction — and yes: by having a vision and acting upon it. With perseverance and persistence. As they say: “Don’t talk the talk, but walk the walk.” It’s always easier to complain than to actually change things.
„I strongly believe that creating a better, more efficient and more sustainable mobility system is one of the most imperative challenges facing mankind at this point in time.“
It is increasingly becoming the pivotal factor in improving people’s lives in cities. And if we fail to respond adequately, cities will suffer dramatically in the coming years.
Why is it so important to embrace our challenges, to reinvent our mobility system and to act upon it with perseverance and persistence?
First of all, mobility is essential to every city dweller’s daily life. We need mobility to get to work, see our friends & family and enjoy our leisure time. Mobility gives us access to goods and services. It gives us freedom. It’s essential to us.
Second, mobility is deeply rooted in our current economic system, business models and the value chains behind them. However, our existing models are not geared towards sustainability, but profit maximization, which leads to significant costs for society as a whole, and ultimately, for the entire planet. Hence, mobility touches on many pressing issues associated with creating sustainable cities. We must embrace, reinvent and act since we desperately need to protect and conserve our planet for future generations. After all, the side effects of our prevailing model are highly self-destructive.
Let us embrace this challenge. Let’s create a new value chain that allows us to buy regional, organic products including sustainable transportation methods. Let’s create a mobility system that allows us to have more living space, parks and recreational areas, instead of having hundreds of thousands of cars parked on the side of the road. Let’s reduce the amount of vehicles on the streets, get rid of the old combustion engine and make the air that we all breathe clean again.
Shared mobility will be a principal driver of this transition, creating smarter and more sustainable cities. Let’s introduce fleets of autonomous shuttles — powered by clean energy, moving humans and goods, fully connected with our public transport systems and perfectly aligned with our daily lives. Equipped with artificial intelligence, so that shuttles are guided to where they’re needed and traffic can flow smoothly. Pooling both passengers and goods will result in a reduction of private cars on the street. Providing a free choice of pick-up and drop-off locations and smart routing will ensure every individual request is addressed in a convenient way.
Public Transport is core for the mobility transition
To ensure such a well-functioning system, it is crucial that public transport providers are placed at its core. Public transport providers have both the infrastructure to manage mass transportation and the long-term commitment to ensure public interest. If you are interested in reading more about what future transportation could look like, read this contribution by door2door to the World Economic Forum.
Founding door2door, a company dedicated to managing the mobility transition in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is my personal contribution. I have built the company based on my belief of inclusive growth, providing solutions for greater social inclusion and stronger, more sustainable growth. Our technology enables cities all around the globe, from Munich to Lisbon to Singapore, to implement new mobility solutions, thereby passing on the benefits of progress to everyone.
This year’s theme of World Cities Day is Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities, a subject that inspires me, and I would like to thank UN-Habitat for bringing it to people’s awareness.
Here’s to building better cities! Cheers!
About Maxim Nohroudi
Maxim is founder & Co-CEO at door2door. He is a member of the World Economic Forum, an expert on mobility transition and advises big names in the worlds of politics & industry all around the globe.
This article was first published on door2door blogpost.
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