Smart commuting: Bringing South West Flanders up to speed and into the future
Full house at Leiedal, the intercommunal body for regional development in 13 cities and municipalities in South West Flanders. On 15th December 2016, Leiedal hosted its annual ‘Samenkomst’ or gathering: an inspirational meeting by and for the region. Traditionally, it is an evening on which regional policy makers, stakeholders and contributors are invited to be inspired in a wide number of areas. In a mix of workshops and informative markets, one that generated the most interest, was the session on sustainable and shared mobility at business parks.
New mobility concepts are up and coming: mobility as a service, e-mobility, smart logistics… The growth potential for bike sharing, carpooling and collective business transport in the region is substantial. Future mobility is shared and durable, in sync with the SHARE-North-philosophy. In the light of these recent developments and trends, Leiedal aimed to pose and address the question of what the region can do today to guarantee viable mobility tomorrow. Furthering a commuter traffic analysis on eight employment hubs in the region, Leiedal reaches out for smart alternatives for both the businesses and their employees. The object is to chart, together with employers and employees, which forms of shared mobility are the most suitable or desirable at a designated industrial estate. One of the project stages is the development of user-friendly tools and services for well-defined cases and areas on an individual and entrepreneurial level. Leiedal seeks to sensitise people to alternative modes of transport and to communicate or promote examples like carpooling, bike- or car-sharing, electrical bikes, public transport, smart infrastructure and shared services. Leiedal determined, for example, that 14 percent of the employees at one business park live within a 20-minute bicycle range. The challenge there then is to convince both employees and employers of the mutual benefits of cycling, to establish custom-made bicycle services and to simply get people on a bike. Other possible actions include delivering up-to-date traffic and road works information and developing a website and application. Leiedal and shared mobility within the SHARE-North context: an endeavour of bringing the region up to speed and into the future.