“The whole population is aware that we have environmental problems which are caused by traffic, and therefore we need to rethink how we behave,” explained Peter Ummenhofer, Founder of GO Consulting, one of the international experts sharing their views. The Vienna-based ITS specialist highlighted individuals’ behavior changes and evolving mindsets, identifying a general shift away from a dependency on cars in favor of more flexible, eco-sensitive, and connected mobility models. Even older people, Ummenhofer is quick to add, are shifting in their behavior; this change is not limited to young urbanites. Whether it’s due to a growing environmental consciousness resulting in people leaving the car behind in favor of public transit, or simply the ubiquity of smartphones and new connected mobility services such as rideshare apps or on-demand rentals, the populace is primed for—and demanding—new models of mobility.
The impact can also be witnessed in the Netherlands, as the Dutch mobility expert Cees van Buchem, an experienced consultant for public traffic projects, showcases. “We have recently hit the walls of our system in two local crises, [leading] to a paradigm shift within our mobility community,” explained van Buchem. The small country is battling a serious climate crisis that also impacts behavior in traffic and even blocks much-needed new infrastructure projects on a national level. Moreover, a social divide is growing bigger and bigger.