An Introduction to the cities
Cities are key to the success of the EMPOWER project as they contemplate current and future energy challenges and seek new tools and techniques to accelerate the transition to economically viable and socially equitable energy efficient systems. Central to this is the need for solutions to overcome the traffic issues that they increasingly face and help improve the lives of the people who live in them – from commuting to work, accessing leisure or improving mobility around the city. And even though directly visible and noticeable air pollution has largely disappeared, this does not imply that the air in European cities is clean and healthy. In most cities, traffic related air pollution from conventionally fuelled vehicles has already, or will be, replacing industrial air pollution as the number one pollutant. Add to this congestion, parking problems and accidents, and it becomes only too apparent the major transport challenges that cities are facing.