View the Summary and Update for GeniUS! Challenge 4
View the original question and conversation for How can footfall and transport be used innovatively to generate income and improve environmental sustainability in the City?
This challenge has 4 key elements:
1.Footfall – how bustling and busy a place is with pedestrians;
2.Transport – getting about from A to B by motorised transport modes such as a car, vans or motorcycle or by more sustainable modes such as walking, cycling, buses and trains;
3.Income - attracting, saving or generating money in the city to help the local economy thrive; and
4.Environmental Sustainability – delivering quality of life whilst protecting the environment i.e reducing carbon emissions which contribute towards tackling climate change, improving air quality, recycling, energy and water conservation, renewable energy generation and protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
When we combine these four elements together this challenge is about finding an innovative way to generate money from footfall and / or transport modes in a way that will improve environmental sustainability in the city.
For this challenge we are focussing on the City Centre, inside the Walls, however, we are open to innovate ideas for any part of York.
Traditionally, motorised transport is a major user of polluting sources of energy. For example, many of us use petrol in our cars to run them. Unfortunately burning such fuels to power our cars can have a wide range of negative impacts on the environment creating air pollution from nitrogen oxides and particulates, and carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change.
Changing our reliance from polluting to non-polluting modes of transport is challenging enough, which is why the city already has programmes like Intelligent Travel York, and its predecessor Cycling City York. But doing this AND generating income from these changes is even more challenging and we need your innovative thinking!
As a city we are fortunate in having many advantages enabling sustainable travel to be a realistic option for a large proportion of our residents, York also has a particularly high proportion of people who cycle (15% ) and walk (15%) and car trip levels (driver & passenger) are also much lower than the regional and national average (Census 2001). In the city centre alone footfall in 2011 was just under 12 and a half million on Coney Street and eight and half million on Parliament Street.
Environmental impacts of transport
However, it is expected that there will be a significant growth in jobs and housing over the next 15 - 20 years. Such growth is likely to impact on the environmental sustainability of the city unless we can alter the way we travel and live.
Such growth is likely to increase the pressures on the transport network, which could lead to current levels of delay increasing and contributing to more carbon emissions and climate change and pollutants that affect local air quality and health.
By 2050 York’s carbon emissions are predicted to increase by up to 30%, currently 26% of York’s carbon emissions come from the transport sector and as a City we are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.
In order to achieve this target the city is also committed to generating more clean energy from renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind and hydro. However, there are other innovate ways to generate clean energy and we are actively seeking these too, such as generating energy from people as they walk!
York has also declared 2 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) based on annual average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels that are higher than the government guidelines.
A presentation with more background information on this challenge and the work currently happening across the city on sustainable transport and climate change is available to view by clicking on the link under attachments lower down the page.
What may be the benefits to tackling this challenge?
Depending on the solution, the benefits may include:
- A healthier population that walks and cycles more (and saves money from it too!)
- Cleaner air and improved health benefits
- A city reducing carbon emissions and the future impacts of a changing climate
- Less congestion across the city
- More people visiting the city and spending their money in the city
- Generating clean energy and reducing the city’s energy bills
But how do we solve the challenge?
If you think you know how to tackle this challenge tell us.
For this challenge we are focussing on the City Centre, inside the City Walls, however, we are open to innovate ideas for any part of York. All we ask is that you stick to the challenge question and involve footfall / and / or Transport modes, income generation that will improve the local environment.
Here’s some ideas:
One such idea could be for example how we could generate energy from people as they walk. York’s footfall figures in the city centre are potentially a great untapped resource - in 2011 there were 12.5 million on Coney Street and 8.5 million on Parliament Street. Technology exists which can exploit all this movement and convert it into a renewable energy source – and potential income!
Ideas could be based around new technology or simply doing things differently or encouraging people or businesses to behave in a different way. For example, discounts could be offered at attractions for people arriving on push bikes – encouraging more cycling and potentially increasing visitor numbers.
Promising ideas will be investigated by experts, working with the originator and affected groups and, if plans are agreed, the Council has committed to make them reality.