FIA Foundation has a mission to promote safe and sustainable mobility with a particular focus on young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many ways in which our mobility patterns and choices really our lives from the congestion in our cities to the quality of the air we breath. Any plans for our recovery from the resultant economic downturn must have sustainable mobility at their heart.
FIA Foundation is committing €2.5 million to some of the more immediate frontline and medical responses to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, some of our staff have given of their time to support vulnerable groups in their own communities, as have many of our partners across the world.
We believe that this is a crucial moment to consider the implications of this crisis for the other global mobility challenges we face, and in particular the issues of air quality, road safety and climate change which lie at the heart of our philanthropic mission. There is much that we can learn from the experience of COVID-19, from the use of science and evidence in addressing its spread to the behaviour changes required to contain it, and the acceptance of the need for a collective response to it.
Evidence is already emerging which makes these links and which asks some important questions. A key recent paper is ‘A call for collective action for international stakeholders to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’ from DfID’s HVT programme. The paper considers the many ways in which initial responses to COVID have already created changes in mobility frameworks. From initiatives to expand bicycle lanes and safe space for pedestrians, to greater use of e-bike deliveries, this crisis has allowed the showcasing of many of the solutions which the sustainable mobility community have been promoting for a while. It also calls for 8 actions from the sustainable mobility community:
It is in response to this call to reflect and consider our next steps as a sector, that the FIA Foundation is launching a COVID-19 Sustainable Mobility Challenge Fund, to support partners as they develop a wider response from the sustainable mobility community. From new evidence on lessons to be learned to effective advocacy tools, we are interested in supporting work led by our partners, in groups and consortia, and starting very soon – there is no time to lose.
As a first step we will be hosting an invitation-only webinar at which we will discuss these issues further. This webinar will take place on Wednesday 20th May – 13.00- 15.00 (BST).
Questions which this webinar will address amongst others: