CHENGDU, China—Now that the talking—which was done in just about every major language across the globe—has ended, the real challenge begins.
What can we, as government agencies, businesses and individuals, do to improve transportation—or sustainable mobility—in cities across the globe?
That was the central question posed during the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, held Nov. 11-14 in Chengdu's Heritage Park.
What can be done to restrict traffic congestion in urban areas? How can energy consumption be reduced? How can noise and air pollution be tackled? How can road safety improve? What can be done to help climate conditions?
Those were the central questions during Michelin's 12th global summit—or “think and act tank,” as Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard called it. The event first was held in 1998 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bibendum, or the Michelin Man.
The overall goal of Challenge Bibendum is to contribute to the progress of sustainable mobility of people and goods, through a series of seminars, discussions, exhibits and contests involving 250 organizations from the private and public sectors, with as many as 6,000 from across the globe participating.
“The event has become a collective initiative that addresses a collective challenge, which is to reconcile the development of mobility with sustainable development, meaning respect for people and their environment,” Senard said during a news conference.
“At a time when many of our fellow citizens see the mobility of people and goods as a threat to the environment—and even a threat to the economy and society—Michelin believes that mobility plays a fundamental role in human development and is a fantastic driver of progress.”
Senard said the gargantuan goal of Challenge Bibendum is more than a dream.
“Today, and every day, technological innovation is helping to improve the environmental, safety and cost performance of all means of transportation, whether individual or collective,” he said. “Quality and innovation are in the DNA of Michelin.”
According to Senard, up to 70 percent of all people will live in cities by next year, and he said around 2 billion cars will be on the road by that time.