Future trends in urban mobility


The big cities of tomorrow are shaping today according to technical and technological possibilities, but also societal and environmental issues.

Levels of pollution and traffic jams are irritations of everyday life in urban areas, and the situation could become much worse. It is estimated that by 2030, 60% of the world's population will live in cities (compared to about 50% today). And during the same period, more than two billion people will reach the middle class. The majority of them in cities in emerging countries, especially in China.

The number of megacities with more than ten million inhabitants will thus continue to grow. Many of these people to reach the middle class will want to buy cars. And some auto industry analysts predict that on the current trajectory, the global fleet of about 1.2 billion vehicles, is expected to double by 2030.

Existing urban infrastructure can not support such an increase in the number of vehicles on the road. Congestion is already almost unbearable in many cities. And in addition to wasting time, wasting fuel and increasing the cost of doing business, vehicles are creating greenhouse gas emissions.

This poses serious public health problems. The World Health Organization estimated in 2014 that seven million premature deaths were attributable to air pollution and that a significant share was due to urban transport.


However, the future does not have to be like that, and it is also up to us, who use our cars daily to change our habits. In terms of mobility, four major trends are emerging today. And the urban displacement of the future will be :

  • PLURAL - Combined means of transport to move better
  • SMART - Data to facilitate travel
  • SHARE - Car-pooling, free-floating, self-catering
  • ELECTRIC - Clean, quiet and easily refillable means of transport.

Abandoning the model of the private car and turning to a model of shared vehicles on demand, to optimize their use seems a logical and desirable evolution. This makes all the more sense as these new electric models will be able to roll over longer distances.


The very notion of urban mobility needs to be rethought. In the face of crowded streets and overcrowded public transport networks in major cities, alternative means of transportation must be favored. The Vélib' has shown that in Paris, one preferred to walk the streets that the subway corridors.

Several other factors have also boosted the movement towards so-called "soft" urban mobility such as savings made by communities. According to the Danish and Dutch governments, pioneers of the model, 1 km traveled by bike brings at least 1 euro to the community. In particular by savings on health, while 1 km by car makes him lose 30 to 40 cents.

The support of governments who see soft mobility as a means of combating pathologies of sedentary lifestyle. By offering even in some countries, including France, an ecological bonus for purchase.

Allied to the sluggish traffic (30 zones), the rejection of too many cars, pollution, saturated public transport, make the machines such as electric scooter or bikes, today respond to a need for flexibility that users claim.

After years of struggling to re-install the bicycle in our urban landscape, cycling policies finally ended up in the cities.

Cycling facilities, such as runways, bike lanes on the roadway, corridors shared with buses, etc., are decisive for the hesitant to overcome their fears of using their two wheels.

And when adapted solutions exist, unsurprisingly, the cities that offer the most continuous routes, display the highest bike modal shares.

The cities have understood that the implementation of restrictive measures for the use of private cars in the city center, did not mortgage their economic growth, nor the accessibility to their shopping center, on the contrary!

The unbridled use of the car for individual trips can no longer guarantee the mobility of the greatest number.


Cities will be bigger and bigger in the future, and according to specialists, more and more of us will be able to afford a car for our urban journeys. However, from what we know today, the car is not the most suitable solution.

Air pollution is a major cause of premature death, traffic congestion causes stress and slows travel. Some communities have understood this and are already starting to prepare the after all-cars! And in these cities it's no surprise that we see more people joining alternative means of transport.