The Shared Path, is the second research report in the partnership between WSP and The Helen Clark Foundation. It looks at the benefits Aotearoa would realise by substantially reducing traffic volumes in cities, and outlines what’s needed to deliver this.
Holly Walker, Deputy Director of the Foundation, WSP Fellow and report author, says New Zealanders’ collective reliance on cars comes at considerable cost to the environment and society.
“The transport sector accounts for almost a quarter of our total climate emissions, and more than half of these come from private vehicles. New Zealand has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but this won’t happen without a substantial reduction in private vehicle use. We’ve also committed to zero deaths on the road yet the more we drive, the more we crash – we simply won’t achieve our goal without reducing the number of trips taken by car,” she says.
David Kidd, WSP Director Customer Experience and Strategic Advisory, says Aotearoa needs to take strong action to tackle transport emissions, turning the tide from a 45-degree growth in emissions to achieve a 45-degree decline.
“We have a decade, possibly less, to achieve carbon neutrality in transport. Our current thinking needs a dramatic overhaul to achieve this and requires policy change across a number of sectors.
Alongside this, WSP experts have explored what it will take to decarbonise transport in Aotearoa through the lens of their own disciplines.
Kidd says WSP planners, engineers and scientists feel a strong sense of responsibility towards the built environment they contribute to, both through their work discipline and as social citizens.
“In delivering the Decarbonising Transport series, WSP has demonstrated its commitment to supporting technological and policy solutions that will help Aotearoa transition to a low carbon transport sector. This will achieve the dual purposes WSP has committed to: zero road deaths and carbon neutral transport. “