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Nudging towards sustainable mobility in Antwerp: post-COVID-19

Author: Katia Kishchenko
Posted on: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 11:07
Antwerp , PORTIS

The global COVID-19 crisis leads to new challenges in the field of mobility. What will mobility look like in this new “social-distance society”?

Smart Ways to Antwerp (the city’s programme to stimulate sustainable mobility behaviour) wants to prevent the modal split in the city from tilting back in favour of the car in light of ongoing safety concerns.

We want to make alternative mobility solutions attractive again, provided that they can be used in a safe way. The focus will be on walking and cycling, but we are also looking for ways to stimulate public transport and shared mobility. In addition, Smart Ways to Antwerp is supporting companies with the further development of teleworking.

Promote walking and cycling

Several infrastructural measures are being taken to stimulate safe cycling, such as transforming two-way cycling lanes into one-way lanes to make social distancing possible, further expanding the concept of cycling streets and making the cycling network more visible.

In the build-up to the 2021 UCI Road World Championships (the International Cycling Union event is taking place in Flanders), Antwerp will start with long-term content planning on the topic of cycling. The goal is not only to promote cycling, but also to create ownership and a sense of pride in Antwerp as a cycling city.

Walking will also be promoted with the publication of a walking network and a campaign later on in the year.

Stimulate telework

For the past few weeks, companies have been obliged to have their employees work from home. Even though the circumstances were not ideal, they have also experienced the benefits of working in this way. Now is the ideal time to use these experiences and implement teleworking in a structural way.

To support companies, Smart Ways to Antwerp has launched a professional learning network. Together with an expert partner, a range of online sessions will provide participating companies with a platform for exchanging experiences, receiving valuable feedback and highlighting best practices in teleworking effectively.

Improve innovative solutions

Several new features will be implemented in the Smart Ways to Antwerp mobility map and route planner to include more mobility solutions and improve user-friendliness. For example, real-time data of public transport, shared mobility options and taxis will be added. On top of that, a new walking and cycling route planner will be integrated, showing safe and comfortable unimodal routes.

To promote the use of new mobility options, Smart Ways to Antwerp is working out an incentives programme with private partners, and is continuing to support mobility providers through different kinds of partnerships.

Monitor and adjust

The question remains, what is the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on mobility and how will the mobility landscape evolve? At the moment, that is difficult to predict. Therefore it is crucial to monitor the situation at all times and adjust our strategy accordingly. Only in this way, can we tackle these (new) challenges and work together towards solutions.

If you work at a city currently grappling with how to support sustainable mobility amid this pandemic, reach out to us through this contact form. Let’s share experiences to build sustainable cities together.

Antwerp (Belgium) works in the CIVITAS initiative’s PORTIS and SUMP-PLUS projects.

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