#TIL: For Blue Skies: Avoid-Shift-Improve!
By Snehil Singh
As blue skies become the new normal, the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of a sustainable world. The crash in world crude oil prices and the reduction in air pollution worldwide are driving conversations on how the ongoing pandemic can be used as a catalyst to get cities worldwide to move on the path of sustainability.
To continue efforts to make cities efficient, safe and livable in the post-COVID world, sustainable transportation is imperative and various urban and transport planning approaches are already being considered by countries. One such people-centered approach is the Avoid -Shift-Improve (ASI) framework.
What is the A-S-I Framework?
ASI is a widely used framework for adapting sustainable transportation and alternative mobility solutions. The A-S-I approach was initially developed in the early 1990s in Germany and serves as a way to structure policy measures to reduce the environmental impact of transport and thereby improve the quality of life in cities. It is focused on the demand side and offers a holistic approach for a sustainable transport system design.
The A-S-I approach encompasses the following three:
- Avoid :refers to the need to improve the efficiency of the transport system. This is suggested through ways such as integrated urban planning at the design stage. It promotes instruments that reduce length of trip and the need to travel longer distances .
- Shift: refers to the need to improve the trip efficiency by promoting the transition to environment- friendly alternative modes such as shared mobility, mass-transit systems and non-motorised modes (walking and cycling). These instruments focus on increasing first and last mile connectivity , affordable and accessible public transport systems,lower emissions and reduce congestion.
- Improve: refers to the need to focus on improvement in technology, vehicle and fuel efficiency. It promotes the energy efficiency of transport modes and related vehicle technology. It includes instruments such as removal of fuel subsidies and implementation of vehicle registration fees and ensures adoption of green mobility technology such as electric vehicles.
The evolving and shifting trends in consumer behaviours, increased environmental sensitivity through switching to electric vehicles and other renewable sources of energy, are already bringing in the transition to more sustainable and efficient transport modes. Another example of such transition can be seen in the sharing economy that allows real time demand and supply, thereby reducing underutilisation of assets and need for private vehicle ownership .
In India, national policies such as the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 (NEMMP), Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME-II), Smart City Mission schemes provide unique opportunities for adoption of green technologies such as electric vehicles to create shared, energy efficient, clean, and connected mobility systems.
- Image Source :Sustainable Urban Transport,Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative
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