Voi launches vision statement to inspire citizens on how we can transform cities

Jun 16, 2022

Today, we outline our vision in a landmark Cities Made For Living vision statement, to inspire citizens and decision-makers on how we can transform cities into places to actually live in. Furthermore, we articulate an end goal of the micromobility movement: reinventing public transport for a future of shared mobility.

  • 🇪🇸 Read in Spanish: Ciudades hechas para vivir

The vision statement takes a research-based approach to explain how shared mobility, especially micromobility, can help cities overcome a century-long planning bias toward private cars. Co-authored with Danish-based JAJA Architects, specialists in urban planning and mobility, our vision statement reimagines and visualises public spaces in cities across Europe, including Voi’s home town of Stockholm, as well as Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Liverpool, Marseille and Oslo.

“For over a century, we’ve given our towns and cities over to private cars at huge costs to our health, our mind and our climate. The science is clear that reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement requires far more transformative actions to change mobility, than switching to electric cars. The change we need to see requires a systemic shift and brave politicians to make bold decisions for the future, like Anne Hidalgo has done for Paris. Towns and cities have a unique opportunity, and with our vision statement we’re hoping to open people’s eyes to what’s possible for our future,” says Fredrik Hjelm, Co-founder and CEO at Voi. 

Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for “transformative” changes to the transport sector if global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C by 2050. 

“The climate crisis will not wait for us any longer, we must rethink our approach to urban areas and take a holistic approach to rethink mobility and infrastructure. As the report shows there are huge benefits to reimagining our public spaces with a focus on shared mobility as it gives us more space for social activities, greenery and creates safer cities in the process too. Showcasing these benefits is crucial as it changes the conversation about sustainability from ‘what do I have to give up?’ to ‘what we can get in return!’,” says Robert Martin, Head of Mobility at Jaja Architects, who holds a PhD in urban planning and future mobility. 

Rethinking public transport

Cities need to be adapted for more walking, biking and public transport, says the IPCC, while acknowledging that shared mobility can be deemed as a part of the public transport system, “in so far as it is accessible to most transport users and does not require private asset ownership”. Similarly, the OECD has stated that policies to mainstream shared mobility, particularly shared bikes and micromobility, are fundamental to accelerating the development of sustainable transport networks.

“Tech has proven to be an enabler for scaling systems with shared micromobility, integrating with traditional public transport networks and ultimately reinventing what public transport is. We need to think new to challenge car dependency in cities, and this means bringing new modes that make public transport networks more flexible. Shared micromobility is still in its infancy – we have only scratched the surface of the opportunities to increase car-free mobility in cities,” says Hjelm.  

Walking the talk with sustainability disclosures

With today’s vision statement, we have also produced our first environmental report, presenting our environmental targets and current status, including green operations, circular vehicles, sustainable sourcing and car replacement. It also presents a third-party verified lifespan report of micromobility vehicles. An international team of experts, led by the leading micromobility consultancy Electric Avenue, reviewed our fleet and repair data to verify the e-scooter lifespan and develop recommendations for continuing to improve it. The review shows that Voiager 4, launched in 2021, will last for 4.6 years, while the latest model – Voiager 5 – is estimated to last for over five years. 

Alongside this, we are now ISO 14001 certified in Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark and the UK and are in the progress of becoming certified in all other markets. This means that our environmental management systems in these countries are designed and implemented to the highest environmental standards. Our Environmental Action Plan is governed by our ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System.

“We believe transparency is critical for the shared micromobility industry to increase its sustainability reputation. This is our contribution to raising the bar on walking the talk in the industry,” says Hjelm. 

Read the full Cities Made for Living vision statement and environmental report here. The work with the vision statement was led by former sustainability journalist and now Voi’s News Desk Manager Tobias Persson, and has involved many employees across Europe, including the executive team. Voi has collaborated with a team from JAJA Architects, led by Robert Martin, Head of Mobility. Each of the renders in the eight cities involved collaboration with Voi’s local operations teams as well as regional experts.

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