The 2014 Volvo Nobel Memorial Seminar took place yesterday in Bangalore. This annual meet provides a platform to define the demand for sustainable mobility and how to attain this.
A definition of sustainable mobility that is used by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as part of that organization's Mobility Project 2030 is: mobility that meets the needs of society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade and establish relationships without sacrificing other essential human or ecological requirements today or in the future.
The event, organised by Volvo and Volvo Buses, saw top executives from the companies present, as well as attendance by the Swedish Ambassador to India, Mr. Harald Sanberg. Also present at the occasion were industry authorities, public representatives, media, NGOs and opinion leaders.
There was a debate around the topic of "Sustainable mobility—How big can we dream? [versus] How deep is the reality?" followed by a discussion around "Time to think Bigger & Smarter—Outpacing the Challenges In a Land of Contrasts" by a special panel of attendees.
The debates discussed the challenges of infrastructure development with the population of India moving into cities in greater numbers. The realities of sustainable mobility in the country were touched upon, with active participation from the public and proper governance being pillars of this movement. It was found important that sustainable transport impacts the country and factors like public transport and alternate non-motorised transport options like bicycles and rickshaws find a part into our society sooner rather than later.
Hurdles to sustainable mobility were brought up, like the huge amounts of time and money annually wasted because of stubborn ideologies and habits of the population and bureaucrats posing a hindrance to the implementation of new, even potentially life-changing ideas.
Post the debate and discussion, the 4th edition of Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards brought to the fore the efforts being made in the area of sustainable transport, with the Centre For Green Mobility taking top honours this year.