Sustainable urbanism can be defined as a vision to make urban space build with abundant green spaces, bicycle routes, and transit-served systems integrated with high-performance buildings and infrastructure. It administers principles that work on design/planning strategies to achieve sustainability. Today, the city and its environment around it are seen as an ecosystem. With the right approaches, designers and planners formulate frameworks to deal with water, energy, materials that could be utilized in a sustainable way. Basically, sustainable urbanism aims to eliminate the environmental impact of urban development by providing the recourses locally. It makes sure that everything which we are using is made sustainably, making the ecosystem/city truly self-sufficient. Hence, it delivers an idea for zero-emission and zero waste urban planned infrastructures.
This evidentially brings us to realize the need to regulate vehicle traffic and make advancements in renewable and transportation technologies mainly electric vehicles, which have now become an essential tool for urban planners in their environmental sustainability planning process. Integrating EVs (Electric Vehicles) and their charging stations into a city design has become an essential consideration for urban planners.
It is estimated that the majority of the population living in urban environments uses vehicles which are impacting traffic congestions as well as harm to ecology as well. EVs might offer a change in decarbonizing the energy chain used in transportation, hence giving the possibility to use alternate energy paths to secure mobility and making road transportation more independent from renewable energy.
However, the usage of EVs to reduce the impact of transportation does not represent a sole solution to face the environmental problems; rather it is a part of the solution which includes other non-technological alternative options to meet the goal of reaching urban sustainability.
Although the more EVs are being used in the future with long-ranging batteries, the more sustainable our future would be. As per the reports, electrics vehicles are three to four times less polluting than average gas-powered vehicles. With respect to infrastructure, charging facilities are expected to increase as per the need and usage of EVs. It can be deciphered that the usage of EVs will contribute to a drastic change in urban planning to incorporate charging stations in their design proposals. It will require strategic planning, public interventions, and synergies with private initiatives.
Electric mobility is now considered to be a necessary building block in the sustainable transportation paradigm, particularly in the urban context. This gives urban planners a massive challenge to instill charging infrastructures in advance. Also, residents refrain from acquiring EVs as long as there are charging points and commercial infrastructure as per their usage. It is critical for urban planners to realize that mostly ass EV charging takes place at home. So the first priority is to make charging an electric vehicle convenient and affordable at shorter distances. Planners and policymakers can help the process by offering perks for EVs such as free parking, discounts to give them a positive experience. It will maximize the usage of EVs, hence resulting in an increase in forming a smart city framework. With the rapid growth in urbanization combined with a growing number of EVs, urban planners are getting into action without any delay with smart city technology. It can be analyzed that EV charging is now a part of a broader city framework that includes smart buildings leading to impact the whole urban planning infrastructures at a wider level. As a result, developing urban areas now requires 65 percent of parking spaces to be EV-ready.
EV charging infrastructure is usually led by the city’s transport department, which works closely with energy and planning departments. The EV charging network comprises multiple processes and components, along with stakeholders responsible for the governance of charging as well as coordination between planning and implementation networks. The roles played by the center, state, and local levels in the governance of EV charging can be regulated by policymakers.
For public charging facilities, it is necessary to plan a network of chargers that are conveniently located and well-distributed across the whole city. It helps in identifying optimal locations for setting up EV charging facilities at different scales. Urban local bodies may conduct planning strategies to ensure a well-planned charging network as per high charging to low charging demands.
Urban planning authorities can alleviate the challenges while planning locations for EV charging points. They can provide access to desirable parking sites to gain revenue to the government authority without burdening the financial viability of charging services.
It can be analyzed that the extensive use of EVs might not reduce global pollution, but it certainly contributes to the development of sustainable transportation systems. It represents one level of sustainable urbanism which is slowly but steadily changing the smart city development process in a greener way.