Sustainable development in transportation cannot be reached by just developing better cars. To reconcile the quality of mobility and the quality of the air especially in cities needs the cooperation of different experts: sociologists, scientists, town planners, company managers, marketing and media people. The "Institute for Cities on the Move", which was founded by the PSA group in 2000, organized together with Chinese partners in October 2001 a conference in Chengdu called “urban growth, modes of transport and intermodality”. High-ranking experts both from China and from other countries discussed topics like: How to organise coexistence between public transport, the private car and "green" transport to facilitate the movement of both people and goods? How to structure the transitional spaces between the different modes of transport? How to organise parking? How will Beijing harmonise the different modes of transport to meet the needs of the Olympic Games? How will densely populated Shanghai cope with increasing traffic and the need for parking space?
For the "Institute for Cities on the Move" this conference was the first stage of a series of partnerships with Chinese cities, research institutions and architects. In 2002 Professor Lu Huapu of Qinghua University was the guest of the Institute and a team made up of students from Beijing and Wuhan, taking part in an international competition came to Paris meet experts and the other teams.
It is with such cooperation, bringing together on an equal footing experts from China and overseas, that the improvement in the quality of transportation systems and life for the citizens of the cities in China can be developed quickly and successfully.
Quality in the experience of being in a car
Car owners spend many hours of their life in their cars. So an important part of the quality aspect of the sustainable technology for cars is the interior of a car. To meet the bio-mechanical requirements connected with safe and comfortable driving has to be seen together with the objective and subjective sensory input: sight, touch, smell, as well as the mental input: happiness, beauty, serenity, conviviality. The interior is a living space in which innovation and quality is found at the encounter of every function, of each piece, of each sensation.
Creating an interior as harmonious and welcoming as a "Second Home" needs a lot of up-to-date technology which assures that all technical functions can be conducted ergonomically right while creating a "inner personality" of the car, building a safe cabin without giving a claustrophobic impression of enclosure. For the design of the Xsara Picasso Marc Mellac, one of it's designers says: "The design has it's roots in a fertile past, interpreted today in a vision of the future. Interior spaces are particularly amenable to creative expression, because interiors reveal our most intimate choices, allowing us more esthetic liberty."
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This is the most common definition. It was reached by the "Brundtland Commission" under the leadership of Gro Harlem Brundtland in 1987.
"Sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity. Companies aiming for sustainability need to perform not against a single, financial bottom line but against the triple bottom line."
This is a definition by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)