Canada's designs to tackle urban mobility
With cities and major metropolitan areas all across Canada growing by the minute, urban mobility is more important than ever before.
That's why city planners and government officials are focusing their sights on more efficient transportation.
RELATED TOPIC: Is mobile marketing part of your baby boomer plan?
Here are just a few ways Canadian cities are handling the issue of urban mobility:
Importance of urban mobility
Transportation congestion is a major concern for cities not just in Canada, but all across the world. Canada's metropolitan populations are expanding rapidly and city planners are doing all they can to put urban mobility in the front seat.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 7 out of 10 Canadians live in the country's major cities, which are well more than 24 million people.
Likewise, Canada's metropolitan areas are growing by 1.5% each year. In fact, Toronto's population just broke the 6 million mark in the last year. Similarly, Montreal's population just grew past 4 million.
Without an urban mobility plan in place, Canada's largest cities would quickly become overrun with traffic.
To avoid this scenario, city planners are increasing the population's transportation options.
As the following article looks at, when it comes to how designers approach urban mobility problems, the most popular solution in Canada is mass transit.
Also known as rapid transit, many of the larger cities in Canada turn to dedicated transit systems that can move a larger number of people more efficiently.
Toronto, Ontario, and British Columbia all have rail transit systems that include subways, sky trains, and standard railways. These cities also have mass bus transit systems that transport thousands of people each day.
To help with the environmental impact of mass transit, the government is implementing clean-burning mass transit vehicles such as city buses that run on propane as well as solar powered railway stations.
A large majority of the urban congestion in Canadian cities comes from people driving to and from work. With that said, city planners have come up with a simple solution to this urban mobility issue: carpooling.
By implementing car pool lanes into existing highways and inner-city roadways, some of the largest cities in Canada are drastically cutting down on rush hour traffic.
Canada even supports ride share programs where workers can sign up for carpool rides with other drivers who share their same routes to work.
In order to help improve urban mobility and the environment, Canada's major cities are also adopting sustainable transit. This type of transit uses emissions-free forms of transportation, which include bicycling and walking.
Walking is one of the best ways to cut down on transportation congestion in major cities; however it's not always fast or convenient. That's why city planners are installing public bike share stations in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
These bike share stations allow pedestrians to rent a bike at one station and drop it off at another station across town. Affordable bike share stations are cutting down on roadway traffic, which is a huge benefit for urban mobility.
From mass transit to carpooling and sustainable transit, it's plain to see that Canada is increasing its urban mobility efforts.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including transportation and the environment.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.