November 4, 2014
This week, at the 10-year cambio car sharing anniversary in Ghent, Belgium, Filip Watteeuw, City Counsellor for Transport, announced the Ghent Car Sharing Action Plan with the aim of having 20,000 car sharers in Ghent by 2020. Today, Ghent has 4,000 car sharing users, members of peer-to-peer and fleet owning car sharing operators.
The City of Ghent was inspired by the City of Bremen, who has the same ambition (http://www.care-north.eu/news/latest-news/european-sustainable-energy-aw...).
How Ghent got inspired?
Last February, during the CARE-North plus project meeting in Ghent, the partner Taxistop took advantage of the presence of the sustainable mobility experts by organising an evening event with presentations from the cities of Bremen and Malmö. Michael Glotz-Richter from Bremen presented Bremen’s Car Sharing Action Plan to political representatives and the public of Ghent. Among the participants was Ann Plas, a representative of the City Counsellor for Transport in Ghent.
The Ghent Car Sharing Action Plan is part of a comprehensive mobility plan. Today, Ghent has 138,000 cars for 250,000 inhabitants. In the next years, Ghent expects the population to grow by 20,000 new inhabitants. To deal with the increasing number of cars, the city of Ghent has decided to implement an ambitious Car Sharing Plan. Ghent will organise various campaigns, increase the number of car sharing stations, give financial incentives to car sharing users, reduce the city car fleet and integrate car sharing into new city developments.
Later this year, representatives from Bremen and Ghent will meet each other to exchange experiences.
For more information, you can read more in the local media:
September 24, 2014
For the third year in succession, the Bremen’s Car Free Festival “StadTraum” took place on September 21st on a road that is usually heavily used by motorised traffic. Each year, the festival takes place in a different neighbourhood of the city so that the citizens of each neighbourhood are able to experience what it is like when a place that is usually dominated by cars and trucks becomes available to the people. Visitors were able to stroll and ride their bikes along a 500 metre long segment of a four lane road that forms and simultaneously divides the centre of the neighbourhood. Visitors could enjoy the entertainment of a multitude of musicians and theatrical presentations, shop and participate in activities at infotainment stands, dine on the open-air table for 250 persons, pet the grazing cows or relax in lawn chairs on the adjacent roundabout. The annual motorway cycling tour that allows cyclists to ride on stretches of motorways only accessible to cars was attended by around 3500 cyclists with bicycles of all sizes and shapes and the cargo bike race, which required participants to complete tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, putting on rain clothing and navigating through obstacles on the road, was also a major highlight of the event.
September 17, 2014
Sharing is becoming more and more mainstream. The online world and the new generations are the spinning motor of this (r)evolution. Autopia has been organising an annual car sharing fair in Belgium since 2011. This event is just like a common commercial exposition of cars but with a twist: every single car is shared by a number of persons! In addition, and to replace, for instance, the insurance and car-addicted companies, a very different and large spectrum of sharing initiatives will be presented. The main goal is to raise awareness and inform visitors to the fair about sustainable mobility and car sharing. During the event, workshops will be held to exchange knowledge between car sharing operators, private persons and governments.
This year’s edition promises to be one of the best presentations of every operator of car sharing in Flanders. Also, some very innovative concepts are in the spotlight: such as local governments who share their own car fleet outside office hours with private persons and organisations who share adapted (wheelchair-friendly) cars and busses with every local residents. In addition, there will be large scale sharing concepts and organisations that can prove to visitors that everything is shareable, including books, working gear, clothes, knowledge and much more! Visitors will find an organisation to guide them through the sharing process.
Several workshops and performances will enrich the day even more. Visitors will be learning how to share private cars amongst neighbours and how to start a local exchange trading group. A give-away market will be held for people who want to give away unused things and a repair-café will offer the opportunity to repair household equipment, clothes, bikes, etc. Furthermore, people have the possibility to exchange clothes, books and, especially for the kids, exchange toy cars (to stay in the spirit of car sharing).
The concept of sharing will also be applied to the “Share Pub”, where adults can enjoy a drink, two for the price of one, to encourage them to share a drink with another visitor. As an additional part of the entertainment programme and to put everything in perspective, a comedic anti-sharing team who will try to convince people to not share anything.
Photo by: Isabelle Ipousset
August 26, 2014
Taxistop’s Car Free Day is becoming bigger and bigger each year. To date, 160 employers in Flanders have registered and engaged themselves to organise a special activity on the 18th of September. With still one month to go, the total number of participants of last year (which was 150 employers) has already been exceeded. All together, the participating organisations employ over 126,500 people.
These registered employers are very diverse. They are large private companies and small businesses. They are state institutions that employ over 10,000 people, local governments and little non-profit organisations. The actions they organise are sometimes small, like a breakfast or a little reward for sustainable commuters but a number of employers have also done a lot of effort to find an original approach. Some employers promise to offer an amount to charity per saved kilometre by car. Others will plant a tree for each employee that comes to work by bike.
The 2014 Car Free Day promises to be a spectacular one, not only with respect to the number of participating employers and employees: for the first time, a major Flemish radio station will support this day by organising a “Train-Tram-Busk-event”. The radio station will encourage Flemish people to take public transport to work that day. They will organise performances of local artists on trains and bus platforms, and of course, every commuter can do a little performance himself/herself!
July 22, 2014
Today, the Bremen transport operator, the Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG), presented a new, full battery electric 12 metre bus for a test drive. The bus will operate for three months on an existing bus line, through which the BSAG will learn about the advantages and disadvantages the particular model exhibits.
The first thematically based reference papers have been published by the CARE-North plus project consortium. The thematic papers on Electric Mobility and Low Carbon Transport, Cycling and Policy Recommendations target policy and decision makers of urban areas and seek to inspire with easy-to-digest facts on how to implement carbon responsible transport strategies in cities and surrounding regions. Case studies from the CARE-North plus project partners highlight how each county in the North Sea Region is implementing actions in the various thematic areas. Policy recommendations put an objective light on decision making various aspects of sustainable transport.
The PDF version of the following papers
- “Electric and Low Carbon Mobility”
- “Building a cycling culture in your city” and
- “Policy Recommendations”
can be downloaded below (see attachments).
The next publications to come include the subjects of Shared Mobility and the effects that rising fuel prices can have on urban mobility of the future.
July 18, 2014
It is always important to look at what's happening across the border. That's the reason why Taxistop is involved in CARE-North plus and also why Taxistop took the initiative to organise a meet-up between Dutch and Belgian sharing economy initiatives. The Dutch embassy in Brussels was enthusiastic about this idea and hosted the event on July 2nd, 2014.
Taxistop invited ShareNL, a platform for the Dutch Sharing Economy, to co-organise the event. Together they created an inspirational program, which included sharing ideas and information about:
- The current status of the state-of-the-art Belgian Sharing economy, presented by Taxistop, which focused on a classification of Shared Mobility and the impact including outcomes of the CARE-North+ project
- The current status of the Dutch Sharing economy, presented by ShareNl
- Amsterdam Sharing City: How Amsterdam is becoming a sharing city, a partnership between the city, big companies, operators in the Sharing Economy and last but not least, the citizens.
- Achmea: The relationship between an insurance company and sharing (peer-to-peer car-sharing)
- Peerby-Wijdelen: An example of a Belgian-Dutch partnership in the sharing economy
- 8 pitches of sharing initiatives: Autopia presented their decentralised peer-to-peer car-sharing initiatives and experiences with local governments who share their fleet with citizens on the weekends. The neighborhood children's bike service 'Op Wielekes' was another pitch as an example of shared mobility.
Sixty participants, 50% of whom were Dutch, attended the meet-up and stayed a long time after the conference to exchange thoughts about the sharing economy and the hope for a semi-final of the North Sea countries at the Football World Cup.
June 5, 2014
In cooperation with the “Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature”, the employees of the CARE-North plus partner, Hordaland County, Norway, now have the opportunity to test electric bicycles free of charge for one week.
The Mayor of Hordaland County, Tom-Christer Nilsen, is an enthusiastic e-bike user who rides his e-bike to and from work on a daily basis. Nilsen no longer has a parking spot for his car in the County`s garage and he saves about 200 Euro per month by using his e-bike instead of travelling by car. At another event held exclusively on May 13th, 2014, nearly 60 people participated the “Test an e-bike” event in Hordaland County. Those who used the opportunity to take a ride on an e- bike came back with a big smile on their face! As a result of this test project, there are now several employees who use an e-bike for their daily commute.
Photo (from left to right): Leader of «The Norwegian Conservation of Nature», Nils Tore Skogland; Mayor of Hordaland County, Tom-Christer Nilsen; and Gunhild Raddum, Hordaland County. Photo taken by Jørgen Hovind.
April 28, 2014
The City of Bremen, represented by Michael Glotz-Richter, was selected as a member of the Global Expert Group of the EU SOLUTIONS project and UN Habitat “Fostering Sustainable Urban Mobility Solutions”. With the support of the European Commission, the experts met in Barcelona for an intense 3-day workshop (April 22-24, 2014).
The Global Expert Group consists of experts from Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Wuppertal Institute and UN HABITAT. Bremen serves as an example of how to successfully promote non-motorised modes, attractive public transport and how to integrate Car-Sharing into urban development.
Funded by the European Commission, an in-depth exchange on sustainable mobility was established between the Brazilian City of Belo Horizonte and the German City of Bremen.
It was agreed that the Final Conference of CARE-North plus in Spring 2015 can be linked to activities of SOLUTIONS and UN-HABITAT – which will also allow us to even better feed in the result of CARE-North plus into the process of global climate protection activities.
You can learn more about the SOLUTIONS project here.