Soft mobility is the transport of goods and people using non-motorized means. It is also referred to as active or human-powered mobility. Forms of soft mobility include walking, cycling, skateboarding, running, and roller skating. But in some contexts, the terms can also refer to all environmentally-friendly transportation modes such as e-scooters, e-bikes, and electric cars.
There are a lot of advantages to soft mobility. Physical activity that comes with it improves health and reduces the rates of obesity and diabetes. It also acts as a great alternative to fossil fuel vehicles. This means that choosing soft mobility helps to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, it reduces the volume of traffic resulting in fewer traffic jams, increased safety, and quieter city centres.
Soft mobility can only thrive when policymakers create a suitable environment for it. This means building bike lanes and sidewalks, creating car-free areas, and setting speed limits in city centres.
A great example of thriving soft mobility can be found in the Netherlands. The country has 35 000 kilometres (ca 21 700 miles) of dedicated cycling paths. 36% of locals say that cycling is their most common mode of transportation. A similar trend is also in Denmark where cycling accounts for 26% of all trips under 5 kilometres.
- Active mobility
- Active travel
- Active transportation
- Active transport
- Human-powered mobility