Flemish cities and businesses step up their commitment to part-mobility

In Ghent, 63 cities, companies, and property developers have signed a ‘Green Deal for shared mobility’. Through the partnership, the participants commit to providing the necessary places for shared cars and bikes near homes. The ambition is to have 7,000 shared cars and 150,000 car sharers by 2027.

Research shows that each shared car replaces three to ten private cars. The Flemish Environment Department also supports the Green Deal.

Extra Push

The number of shared cars in Flanders, and in Belgium in general, has grown strongly in the past year. By the end of 2023, Flanders had 4,159 shared cars, a serious 31.5% increase from the previous year, according to Autodelen.net’s annual report. Not only is the number impressive but so is the geographical spread, as shared cars are now found in three-quarters of Flemish cities and municipalities.

A seemingly motley assortment of various organizations, cities, companies, developers, and providers of shared cars and shared bikes want to give the culture of shared systems an extra push with this renewed Green Deal for shared mobility—the first one dates from 2017.

Historical overview of the number of shared cars in Flanders (roundtrip and private car-sharing)

Less parking spaces at residential buildings

The initiative comes from the Professional Association of the Real Estate Sector (BVS), in addition to Autodelen.net and Network Sustainable Mobility. They find, for example, that parking spaces in new residential developments do not always get sold.

This is often a financial drain and a missed opportunity to provide more green space. However, property developers cannot simply decide to build newer parking spaces. The city or municipality often requires them to provide 1.5 parking spaces per residential unit.

“That minimum standard for parking spaces is outdated,” they say. Together with the Association for Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG), they want to work out new standards with property developers.

By the end of the Green Deal, at least 50 local authorities should have introduced an adapted parking policy to support shared mobility.

More than 300 actions

Other signatories include Zorgpunt Waasland, which wants to provide shared cars at its service centers and residential care centers for its employees and residents but also share them with local residents. Poverty organization SAAMO Limburg, in turn, wants to start up a bike station in the social housing estate Kolderbos.

In total, six general and 20 concrete objectives have been drawn up, and more than 300 formulated actions are going to be taken to make the long-term implementation of (electric) shared mobility in residential environments an evident fact for local authorities and project developers.

It is intended that the Green Deal will be re-signed by at least 30 additional signatories in 2025.


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