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Varanasi, Detroit, Venice set to host Toyota's sustainability initiative

By Anjali Singh
May 30, 2024 16:55 IST
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Varanasi, Detroit, and Venice have been selected to host a global initiative aimed at creating sustainable transportation solutions for cities as part of the ‘Toyota Mobility Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Challenge’.


Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

The initiative is a $9 million programme that will see these cities collaborate with innovators to develop and implement new mobility solutions.

The cities, located in the US, India, and Italy, were chosen from a shortlist of 10 cities announced in November 2023.


Over 150 cities from 46 countries entered the challenge after the call to cities was first launched in June 2023.

The list was gradually narrowed down to 10 and then to the final 3 cities based on the intensity of the mobility challenges they faced and their potential for impactful solutions.

Varanasi faces challenges managing the influx of pilgrims and tourists, particularly regarding safety and accessibility in crowded areas.

Their challenge will focus on creating data-driven solutions that improve mobility in the old city.

Detroit is looking to showcase its commitment to sustainable transportation.

Their challenge will target the Eastern Market, a major food distribution centre, aiming to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and identify cost-effective clean freight technologies.

Venice, famous for its canals, is also grappling with modern mobility issues.

The city, with a significant population living on the mainland, seeks solutions to encourage residents to utilise existing sustainable transportation options, like cycling and electric public transport.

These three cities will be inviting innovators worldwide to access a share of $3 million.

The selection parameters for the challenge related to safe city mobility, included the intensity of problems faced, geographical diversity, government and civic department participation, global innovation potential, and the commitment to sustainable solutions.

Overall, the selection parameters aim to identify cities that not only have significant mobility challenges but also demonstrate a strong potential for impactful and sustainable innovations through global and local collaborations.

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Anjali Singh
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