EU aims to remove 'conventional' cars from cities

To help cut transportation emissions by 60 percent, the European Commission says it must eliminate cars from city centers.

The European Union made a bold statement today about how important cars will be to cities of the future. In short, they won't be.

One of the major initiative in a new set of transportation plans [PDF] adopted by the European Commission would cut in half the number of gasoline and diesel-powered cars from city centers by 2030 and completely phase them out by 2050.

"The gradual phasing out of 'conventionally fueled' vehicles from the urban environment is a major contribution to significant reduction of oil dependence, greenhouse-gas emissions and local air and noise pollution," the European Commission said in the report.

It's part of a larger initiative by the EU to cut carbon emissions from transportation by 60 percent -- and an overall goal of cutting emission 80-95 percent below 1990 levels -- by 2050. And according to Siim Kallas, the European Commission's vice president, the proposals won't lead to a lack of mobility.

"The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true," he said. "Competitive transport systems are vital for Europe's ability to compete in the world, for economic growth, job creation and for peoples' everyday quality of life. Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win–win."

But it's not just trying to get rid of cars. The plan also calls for large cities to develop urban transportation plans that considers a range of transportation options and smart urban planning and design.

"In the urban context, a mixed strategy involving land-use planning, pricing schemes, efficient public transport services and infrastructure for non-motorised modes and charging/refuelling of clean vehicles is needed to reduce congestion and emissions," the report said.

[Via Business Green]

Photo: leansthompson/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com