The purpose of this review has been to understand, from a multidimensional perspective, the unsustainable functionality of the actual mobility planning in many big cities like Barcelona and to present, in a generalized way, which are the different green solutions that have been put into action to mitigate the counterproductive effects of massive private commuting.
Following this line, it is important to stress that the demand by societies for a new variety of mobility systems to the conventional is turning to be, a common trend as they perceive these as unsustainable, non-efficient and, for many, costly.
Therefore, it is becoming increasingly urgent for big cities to cope with such a rising scale of growth through mobility action plans that are inclusive, long-lasting, healthy and environmentally friendly. Shifting from actual systems, highly dependent on private vehicles, requires time but, more importantly, inclusive and sustainable solutions that foster green public transportation (Herrero, 2019).
According to the European Commission’s definition on what should a Sustainable Mobility Plan look like: “A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan has as its central goal improving accessibility of urban areas and providing high-quality and sustainable mobility and transport to, through and within the urban area”.
In that sense, high-quality, green technologies will need to be implemented in the metro station in order to demonstrate that innovation and sustainability are intertwined and represent the basic pillars for long-lasting development (European Commission, 2013).
One of the main challenges that city councils have to address relates to the diminishment of urban congestion, which results in time saving, improved accessibility, lower costs and a decrease of CO2 emissions, all of which contribute to a healthier environment.
New sustainable public transportation, efficient infrastructure networks, energy efficiency and, most importantly, the whole process of design thinking at higher levels of decision-making, such as measures taken at the EU level (Herrero, 2019). In this regard, it is important for densely populated cities like Barcelona that the Spanish Government, by taking into account the legislation passed by the EU, proposes an action plan that takes into account the three main pillars in sustainable development: environment, society and economy.
The Spanish Urban Mobility Strategy, by taking into account the present European legislation, presented in 2009 the Action Plan for urban mobility, which consisted of developing urban mobility in cities focusing in a different set of criteria which would lead to a sustainable transportation system: planning of transport infrastructure; tackling climate change and energy dependence; reducing pollution and noise and, therefore, improving quality of air; promoting safety and health; management (Gobierno de España, 2009, 1-3).
It is worth mentioning that technology and innovation play a crucial role in the development of sustainable practices for urban mobility. Throughout our project we’ll do a market research of the different potential partners that, considering previous analysis based on predefined criteria by our team, will be able to install their innovative technological products in the eco-innovative station so as to boost their brand image and demonstrate to the world how their ‘smart green’ solutions can help solve practical problems (Grow Smarter, 2018).
Furthermore, some of the potential solutions that could be implemented in the station, which are defined by many specialists as ‘Intelligent Transport Systems’ (ITS), would be seen with good eyes by international institutions like the EU, ranging from technologies related to energy efficiency to waste management (Herrero, 2019). The objective of installing disruptive technologies into the station is not only to improve efficiency and safety as a whole but also to create awareness on the importance of shifting towards these sort of green technologies.