Citizens want more bikes and less cars after corona: is your town ready?

Mobility 2 min read, April 15, 2020
Civilians appear to be massively ready for cycling.

Almost a quarter of Belgians (24%) plan to drive less by car after corona. Even more people (30%) have (re)discovered cycling and want to do it more often in the future. These trends appear from a survey by KBC, Het Laatste Nieuws and VTM Nieuws among 2,048 Belgians. How can our cities consolidate these good intentions? πŸ€”

Dream to deed

This corona crisis impacts us in many, many ways. It makes citizens think about their way of life. And it forces them to change their behavior. In recent weeks many people have been introduced to video conferencing and teleworking for the first time in their lives. Others, on the other hand, discovered that many car journeys could also be made by bicycle. 🚲

Leave the car at home more often, make more journeys by bicycle or on foot: these are plans that the questioned Belgians indicated to have en masse. Still, we all know that there are some obstacles between dream and deed.

Just think of: busy traffic and poor cycling infrastructure. What are our cities doing wrong? De Standaard researched it on the basis of video images of the Nationalestraat in Antwerp. You would be scared away for less. πŸ€”

The good news? Our cities hold the key to supporting citizens in their good intentions. πŸ™Œ

Public support is here: use it!

A car-free zone in the city centre, the construction of new cycling infrastructure and regulated emission zones: is there enough public support for this? Well, it seems there is. To get an idea of what is possible, just look at Copenhagen.

There, cycling policy has become an integral part of urban planning and design. In total there are about 400 km of 'bike lanes' in the Danish capital. The result: 62% of commuters cycle. And the city now has 5 times more bikes than cars.

Support of citizens is good, engaging them is better.

Getting the support of the citizens is good. But getting their commitment is much better. This can be done by convincing them to exchange their own private car for a bicycle. How would you be able to do that? For example, by promoting electric car sharing, as the municipality of Bonheiden did, giving discounts on bus subscriptions, such as Machelen, or installing extra charging poles, such as Bilzen. In this way, citizens soon discover that they can save a lot of money and time.

The city can go a step further by sharing its own municipal fleet outside office hours. A win-win: you save costs on expensive fleet cars and promote sustainable mobility by setting a good example yourself.

Thirty (!) cities are already doing that. Curious how to get started? Discover it in this blog article.

Curious about what else you can do to (quickly) reduce emissions in your city? Discover it in this five-step plan.

β˜€οΈFutureproofedCities makes it easy to set priorities, focus and monitor concrete climate measures. Not a user yet? Download our free tool guide to discover the platform.

More of this? Sign up for a monthly dose of inspiration:

Cities Mobility
Subscribe for a monthly dose of inspiration, full of relevant articles and ideas for you and your city.
Sign up for our newsletter