Sustainable Mobility Index: Why measure the way of moving in cities? | Urban Beings | Future Planet

One of the main postulates of management —Which may well be applied to the public— is that what is not measured cannot be managed or improved. Without measuring progress and setbacks, how do you know where to invest greater efforts? How to know in which areas a good performance is achieved and in which not? How to evaluate without monitoring the results obtained? And what can be even more complicated, how to establish parameters or benchmarks that allow defining in which aspects good results are achieved and which require more investment or attention?

These are increasingly frequent questions that public administrations and private or third sector entities face when they want to define policies, strategies and forms of intervention in cities, especially at a time when they are seeking to achieve high quality standards of life, take care of the health of the population and generate living conditions aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and national or global urban agendas. Developing a system that allows answering these questions to face the challenges of the cities of the 21st century is one of the objectives of the Sustainable Mobility Index (IMSCE), promoted by Idencity, transforming Cities, with the support of a public-private partnership in The one in which the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, ALSA, Áreas, Ametic, Correos, Edinor, FCC, Fundación ONCE, Ibil, Mobility City, VadeBike and Renfe participate.

The IMSCE is an analysis, measurement, monitoring and evaluation tool that allows knowing the behavior of 82 cities throughout Spain and seven Integrated Public Transport Areas (ATPI) through 138 indicators that are grouped into six key dimensions to analyze the sustainable mobility.

This is one of the key vectors of modern economies and cities, as it allows the circulation of people, goods and merchandise, connecting places and making life possible in cities, as we know it. But mobility systems are transformed and adapted to the times, circumstances and needs of each era, which makes them not only functional devices, but also agents of urban, cultural, economic and environmental change that, at the present time, are permeated by information and communication technologies, new business models linked to forms of shared mobility and a paradigm shift that advocates more inclusive and accessible mobility models, while being less polluting, as reflected in the strategy of the European Commission.

Mobility systems are transformed and adapted to the times, circumstances and needs of each era, which makes them not only functional devices, but also agents of change.

At this time of change, of collective commitment to achieve more livable and sustainable cities, but also of uncertainty about the future and the impact of the decisions that administrations, companies and citizens take on the systems, supply and demand for mobility, it is It is necessary for this vision of the future to be grounded and developed through public policies. In addition, the strategies that are structured incorporating performance indicators that allow establishing a baseline are essential, as well as the constant monitoring and evaluation of its evolution to determine if it is advancing in the expected direction or if it is necessary to act to change course. .

In this way, the results obtained by the Sustainable Mobility Index (IMSCE), rather than being devoted to the construction of a ranking, They are designed to be a useful tool in decision-making for the formulation of public policies, offering specific and detailed knowledge of each city analyzed with public, reliable data analyzed based on “performance thresholds”. In other words, identifying the compliance standards set by international, national or academic institutional organizations to determine whether the results of each city are close to or far from the established ideal values.

When this is not possible, the reference value is established based on the performance of the study universe. In this way, the evaluation does not respond to random, changing or arbitrary criteria, but is aligned with clear and transparent principles, norms and guidelines. Likewise, it makes the results comparable between cities by using homogeneous sources and applying the same methodologies to the universe of study, generating an urban learning community, transparent with citizens. Ultimately, it is a tool to strengthen urban government and that encourages citizen oversight towards the construction of more sustainable cities.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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