The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company laid out the details of a clean air fee that it estimates will raise £200m over the next few years. The move is an endorsement of the government standing behind Transport for London and the mayor’s vision for London and improving air quality in London.
To incentivize car upgrades, Uber is setting up a new “clean air fund” that will offer drivers up to £5,000 ($6,500) toward the cost of a hybrid or electric vehicle. The company said that it expects drivers to claim more than £150 million ($200 million) to “transition to a greener car,” though it didn’t outline exactly how this system will work.
There are a number of benefits to the idea. Moving to cleaner transportation is an important public good with a myriad of general health benefits. It should be an urgent priority for all UK cities. Air pollution is a growing problem, and we’re determined to play our part in tackling it with this bold plan,” noted Fred Jones, Uber’s head of U.K. cities. “Londoners already know many cars on our app are hybrids, but we want to go much further and go all electric in the capital.
Fighting pollution is a key priority for London. The mayor has created a new ultra low emission zone in central London, which charges older vehicles that do not meet tighter exhaust emission standards, and has pledged to spend £800m on air quality initiatives over the next five years. The City of London plans to turn parts of the Square Mile into a zero-emissions zone by 2022
Converting Waste to Wealth - Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group Initiative
Over a decade ago the Mathare community was characterized by poor urban environmental health. There were no services or transport systems for municipal waste, resulting in waste piling up in streets and along drainage lines, and high disease incidents.
Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group (MECYG) works with young people in Mathare, Kenya (2nd biggest slum in Kenya) and runs a door to door garbage collection business.The MECYG project aims to clean up the collection of waste in informal settlements and transform them into secure public spaces and safe spaces for the community, improve lives of youth through activities, reduce crime and generate income.
The effort was started by the members of the group by collecting garbage in household closest to where they lived, around 500 houses in total. They transported the waste to a centralized dumping spot, where it was left for the city council to pick it up. A recurring issue was that the garbage was not picked up at the dump created by the group, however, the waste would at least be removed from the houses and the areas with the most pressing need to be waste-free.
This business has gradually expanded over the years, and MECYG now covers most houses in an area referred to as ‘Mlango Kubwa’. The group of garbage collectors goes around in the community every Sunday to collect house hold waste. Each house hold pays a monthly fee of 150 Kenyan shillings (1.5 USD) for this service. The fee ensures sustainability of the programme, as this is what pays salary for the youths that collect the garbage.
The group has created the only public space in the community by removing garbage. The open spaces have turned out to be very resourceful to the society. They have also created a center that is being occupied everyday by young people, and created space for the kids and youth to come up together in social settings and activities.
This case shows that substantial community change can and will happen if youth are heard and taken seriously in matters that affect them. It is in this regard, an argument for initiatives that support and enhance youth-led developments such as UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund were created. Through various initiatives of MECYG in ‘Mlango Kubwa’, the community has become clean, safe and a place where people can feel at home.