What does sustainable mobility mean and how is the City of Lugano promoting it? The various definitions are united by the need to balance the necessity of moving efficiently, quickly and economically, with that of safeguarding atmospheric and environmental conditions. From automobiles to public transport on wheels or rails, every means of transportation available to us has advantages and disadvantages in terms of convenience, affordability, and pollution rates, which are also linked to the frequency of our movements (regular or occasional). In this regard, WWF Switzerland provides information and advice on the climate impact of different means of transport – it is also possible to calculate the ecological footprint based on one’s own habits (more information: wwf.ch).
Everyone’s ecological footprint can be reduced through concrete, daily, and shared actions. As far as urban mobility is concerned, the City of Lugano is committed to making it increasingly sustainable, promoting the use of means with the lowest climate impact and better use of public space, namely public transport and slow mobility (pedestrian and cycling): incentives for the purchase of e-bikes for the home-work commute and for public transport subscriptions, new bicycle parking lots, cycle paths and pedestrian walkways. The City also facilitates the sustainable mobility of its employees and supports companies in the area to do the same through the Business Mobility Plan (more information: lugano.ch)
The City of Lugano believes in sustainable mobility, especially through walking and cycling, as the most economical and environmentally-friendly means of covering short distances between the main points of interest in the city, as well as having individual health benefits and collective advantages such as traffic decongestion. The impact of a shift towards sustainable mobility would be significant, considering that in Ticino, 30% of car journeys do not exceed 3 km, reaching 45% for distances under 5 km.
Currently, Lugano has 20 km of cycle paths (the map is available on lugano.ch) – both for private bicycles and rental bikes. In fact, the city has a bike-sharing service (rental of bicycles) provided by PubliBike, the largest bicycle rental network in Switzerland, with 750 bicycles in Lugano (half of which are electric). To use it, you simply need to register for the service, purchase one of the various available subscriptions, go to one of the 123 stations in Lugano, and unlock a bike through the app. The bike can be returned to any of the 123 stations – using the map, you can check where the nearest one is (more information: publibike.ch). In 2022, the service recorded a record of 200,000 rentals and will be expanded to Bellinzona and Locarno in April 2023 with a single subscription for Sopra and Sottoceneri. Bikes can also be transported on public transport, for an additional fee.
Lugano is also easily walkable: the city center can be crossed in 45 minutes, and the main points of interest are only 15 minutes apart. In accordance with the Development Guidelines 2018-2028, the city has committed to promoting pedestrian mobility on multiple fronts. Starting in 2018, the city developed a School Mobility Plan that responds to the safety needs of the population and schoolchildren who travel daily on city streets. In recent years, pedestrian routes have been identified in the city center, indicated on the map entitled “Walking is arriving!” (available on lugano.ch).
The City is committed to promoting sustainable mobility in the future as well: various projects are under consideration to make the city centre more pedestrian-friendly by expanding the network of cycle paths and pedestrian routes. In fact, a Municipal Plan for Pedestrian Paths is being completed, which will unite and extend the routes already identified for school mobility, while improving their attractiveness.
The #sustainablechallenge of the month of April concerns sustainable mobility. Show us the small daily actions related to urban mobility: to participate, just follow @luganosostenibile and @luganoeventi on Instagram, where challenges will be proposed throughout the month; take a photo of the sustainable action related to the chosen challenge, post it tagging #sfidesostenibili #luganosostenibile #LuganoEventi, and tag another person to inspire them to take on the challenge. Every month, a winner will be drawn at random, followed by a grand prize draw at the end of the contest for the final prize.
With a bit of luck this month you could win an annual subscription to PubliBike in Lugano.
More information: luganosostenibile.ch