State of European Transport 2024

Cities

Our health, quality of life, and the climate are at risk from the way we travel in cities. But tried and tested solutions are available and now need be rolled out at scale.

  • Population living in cities in EU (2021)75%
  • Emissions by road transport in EU and UK major cities (2021)239 Mt CO2eq
  • Population exposed to unsafe air in EU (2021)97%

Cars still dominate our cities – and that’s a massive problem.

Despite many journeys being relatively short in cities, and public transport, walking and cycling being available alternatives, cars still dominate in cities.

High levels of car ownership correlate with high levels of emissions

High levels of car ownership usually imply high car use, and hence dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s take a look at how per capita emissions from urban transport compare across major cities:


Not only are the CO₂ emissions a problem, accompanying toxic air pollution is making us all sick. Road transport is responsible for 37% of dangerous Nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx).

Tried and tested solutions are available

The solutions for transforming our cities are already there. City leaders must act and roll out tried and tested measures.

Putting it all together to transition to zero-emission urban transport

Greater London is an interesting case study for the trends to date and the main challenges ahead. The UK capital has the world’s biggest low-emission zone, good public transport and is making progress on cycling infrastructure. Let’s take a look at what’s happened to key indicators over recent years.

Every city is different, but it’s clear the solutions to cut car use and carbon emissions exist. But with a worrying growth in freight kilometres happening in many places, city leaders should now focus on tackling the problem of urban deliveries.

The Clean Cities Campaign aims to achieve zero-emissions urban transport in European cities by the 2030s.

Find out more:

Thank you for sharing

Low-emission zones

Win Win