Urban mobility in Geneva

Reduce CO2 emissions from motorized traffic in the City of Geneva

Understand why the number of registered vehicles in the City of Geneva is increasing and find solutions to get it down.
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Challenge description

Thermal cars and motorcycles (gasoline or diesel) used as a mean of personal transport are a real problem in the city of Geneva: traffic jams, pollution, need for space for parking, etc. What effective, competitive and interesting solutions in terms of price, travel time and comfort could be explored and developed to achieve this goal ?

Context :

Geneva is one of the densest urban areas in Switzerland. It particularly suffers from the constant increase in the number of thermal vehicles used in recreational or professional transport. The negative impacts of this problem affect different areas:

  • Urban quality of life and public health: dense and congested traffic reduces the quality of life, particularly in terms of public health (cardiovascular, respiratory, chronic diseases, etc.). The saturation of the traffic makes an motorized displacement penalizing, as much for the drivers (long journeys, stress) as for the whole of the community (noise, air pollution). The use of motorized vehicles generates a demand for parking spaces (congestion of the public domain), preventing another use of this public domain.
  • Environment: the greenshouse gas emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuels have a major impact on global warming.

Since the measures and initiatives introduced so far have not led to a reduction in the use of this type of means of transport, the city of Geneva is striving to find additional solutions that can effectively meet this objective.

Challenge vision

Description of the challenge:

The subject of the research includes motorized users who live or work in the city of Geneva with a focus on the private and individual use of thermal vehicles such as cars and motocycles. Commercial transport is not a priority.

In order to reduce the number of vehicles registered in the city of Geneva, two main paths emerge: On the one hand reinforcing the use of existing measures emanating from the city of Geneva and/or imagining new complementary solutions. These solutions may include public transport and infrastructure around soft mobility. On the other hand, strenghtening existing offers, commercial or not and/or create new, more innovative ones (including car-sharing, excluding carpooling). 

Tips to explore :

During the Climathon, participants are invited to familiarize themselves, in the first instance, with the current context of the challenge through research and surveys/interviews, with the target audience; online (internet) and/or in the public spaces of the city :

  • What are the existing alternatives in Geneva with high potential ? eg. Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
  • What are the solutions developed abroad, in similar contexts, that respond to this problem ?
  • Who are the current users of these solutions in Geneva, and why ? What are the strengths and what are the remaining bottlenecks ? How to lift them ?
  • What are the challenges of these alternatives (eg. car-sharing platforms such as Mobility and Catch a Car) ? What is missing ?
  • Individual thermal mobility : who are the users in the City of Geneva ? What are the performance or amenities that are not equivalent in existing alternative solutions ?
  •  Habits : how to change one's habits (reflexes, confining oneself to one's comfort zone, fighting apriori, deconstructing stereotypes, etc.)?
  • How to limit the use of certain types of thermal vehicles in the city center ? eg. heavy or od vehicles, using polluting fossil energy.
  • Should we also support the car dealership sector in this transition/restriction ? and if yes, how.

Solutions may involve the following elements (non-exhaustive list) :

  • Commercial and/or non-commercial offers
  • Incentive mechanisms for the use of alternative means of personal transport
  • Mechanisms for restricting the use of individual vehicles (certain days, hours, perimeters, certains vehicles, etc.)
  • Concrete actions
  • Concepts
  • New data

Useful information :

Together we can make Geneva and the world a better place to live

A 24-hour hackathon to build a sustainable vision and tackle climate challenges with innovative solutions together with the City and the Canton of Geneva, the University, les Services Industriels de Genève and other partners.

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