You probably heard recently that the government will be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 onwards. Our goal is to accelerate the transition to zero carbon cities, so we were happy that the government decided to set a date where the internal combustion engine will be a thing of the past.
Thing is, we don’t want to wait till 2040. The planet is going to warm too much if we wait that long, and people will keep dying as a result of air pollution.
Instead of waiting two decades, we need to make the transition to zero carbon transport right now.
Creating walkable and bike-able cities
We designed the Climate Innovation District from the start with this goal in mind. We wanted to create an urban community in the Centre of Leeds to allow people to walk and cycle to work. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions from transport and will reduce air-pollution and traffic, making our cities better places to live.
If just 7.5% of urban trips were completed by bicycle, as opposed to the 5.5% that take place by bike today, it would prevent the emission of an amazing 2.3 gigatons of CO2 by 2050. That’s 2.3 billion tons for those who don’t know their gigas from their megas (don’t worry, it confuses us too).
Similarly, if just 8% of urban trips were completed by walking (as opposed to 5.4 today) then it would save an incredible 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2050.
By building houses just a ten-minute bike ride or a twenty-minute walk from the City centre, we will prevent the need for hundreds of thousands of car journeys per year. It’ll also cut commute times by saving thousands of hours stuck in traffic, giving people more time to form sustainable communities and enjoy their local area.
Electric cars will help our cities as well as our climate
The new petrol and diesel ban helps to focus minds on the fact that electric cars will soon be the new normal for our cities. Loud, polluting cars and trucks will soon go the same way as penny farthings and dial up modems.
We want to make this transition to electric vehicles as smooth and as fast as possible, and for our residents, that means making charging easy. That is why we are building charging points in every single parking space in the Climate Innovation District, so residents and their visitors never need to worry if they’ll be able to get charged. We’re hopeful this will help our residents to make the switch to electric vehicles sooner rather than later, preventing emissions and helping to improve Leeds’ air quality.
If we transition to electric vehicles at a rate that’s fast enough to mean the majority of the world’s light vehicle fleet is electric by 2050, it’ll prevent the emission of a massive 52 billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2050.
The Climate Innovation District is just one small part of accelerating this transition to zero carbon transport and zero carbon cities. But we’re hopeful that by showing people that their morning commute doesn’t have to be spent stuck in miles of traffic then we can get people moving around their cities in a more sustainable way.
If you're interested in living in the Climate Innovation District then you can sign up to Citu 52 to find out more and reserve your home.