Connecting the dots: UK cities and managing emissions

Connecting the dots: UK cities and managing emissions

In early May the government’s advisory panel, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), recommended a “net-zero” target for greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050.

At present, the UK has a decade-old target to reduce emissions by at least 80% before 2050. However, this month’s more ambitious target means UK cities and industries need to make significant changes quickly and effectively. While agricultural and industrial sectors are significant contributors to global warming, transport causes more greenhouse gas pollution than any other sector. With the UN predicting the world will have 10 billion citizens by 2050, how will cities cope with the influx of an estimated three billion extra cars in the world?

Driving sustainability

Chipside provides digital parking permits for more than two million drivers and we work with half of all UK local authorities through our MiPermit and Oppidatim platforms. With direct access to data that tells us how many vehicles are parking in particular areas, how long for and which times are busiest – we see first-hand the increase in vehicles in cities. While increased traffic flow can be beneficial for areas looking to boost visitors and tourism revenues - it is bad news for emissions.

For many years local authorities have encouraged constituents to ditch the cars and take public transport or ride-share to reduce transport’s impact on greenhouse gas increases.  Evidence suggests public transport has the potential to replace 21% of existing car journeys in urban areas around the UK, and while buses are the most used form of public transport when it comes to local journeys, their use has declined by 11% in the last ten years.

A dynamic solution

Chipside’s smart parking and traffic management systems already collect large amounts of live data and we want to analyse these datasets to create cleaner and healthier cities and towns. We are now working on a method of introducing dynamic pricing to nudge drivers to go to other car parks or routes where their vehicles will not tip pollution levels over safe legal limits or targets. ‘Dirty’ vehicles have the potential to trip cities over pollution limits that could degrade air quality and even increase calls to the NHS.

Communicating this information through a smart driving app - or directly through a car’s inboard computer system – will revolutionise the way cities, their visitors and residents share the responsibility to meet zero emissions targets.

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