Bergen – A City dedicated to mobility hubs, emissions reduction and transnational learning
In an interview with the Norwegian City of Bergen’s Marina Magerøy and Lars Ove Kvalbein, SHARE-North intern Brianna Mawra discussed the Norwegian city’s progress with SHARE-North, their approach to shared mobility as well as their plans for the project extension.
What attracted Bergen to the SHARE-North project?
The City of Bergen was first introduced to a few project partners years prior through another Interreg project, CARE-North Plus. From here, Bergen was inspired to act in a similar Interreg project to expand upon sustainable mobility goals through a multi-faceted approach on mobility in an EU-centred setting, thus joining SHARE-North. By being a part of such a program, Bergen is committed to strengthening bicycle infrastructure in the area, increase the use of bike and car sharing, as well as to continue to improve the area’s public transportation system to meet the city’s growing population and reduce private car usage.
What have been some of the accomplishments/goals since joining the project?
Since joining the project, the City of Bergen has accomplished many mobility-related goals, most notably their success with mobility hubs aka “mobilpunkte”. Currently, there are 5 mobilpunkte in use in Bergen with 2 new hubs being planned for use in the near future. Bergen has ambitious goals in regards to the number of privately owned cars, in reducing CO2 emissions, and projects through SHARE-North are helping us on the way of achieving this. Bergen has already seen a reduction in emissions from road traffic. From 2016 to 2017 emissions were reduced by almost 12%. It’s no surprise the success that Bergen has achieved considering Norway leads the world in the amount of electric vehicles, but also by implementing carbon pricing for conventional cars to enter the city centre. By enforcing such measures, the City of Bergen is committed to improving similar environmental standards by introducing more electric car sharing vehicles with charging stations on public roads, as well as increasing the modal share of cyclists.
What do you think has been some of the greatest advantages of working transnationally?
Since joining SHARE-North, the City of Bergen has seen the value of working internationally through the help of various Interreg projects. Through these collaborations, Bergen has experienced the benefits of joining such a consortium and believe we have much to share but also much to learn from one another. With an extended network of mobility-related experts at our fingertips, Bergen uses this to our advantage and for an exchange of ideas. For instance, Bergen was originally inspired by Bremen’s efforts with car sharing and their creation of the mobil.punkt. Following this, Bergen designed its own mobilpunkt stations to fit our own needs following the Norwegian trend of electric shared vehicles. In all, Bergen is pleased to be apart of such a diverse and talented project and are looking forward to carrying out SHARE North’s goals of creating the North Sea Region more environmentally-friendly, healthy, and sustainable for all.
In what ways have mobility hubs/mobilpunkte impacted Bergen?
Over the past few years, Bergen has been interested in decreasing our city’s carbon footprint. Through various innovative methods and ideas, Bergen has achieved much success in this topic. By adapting smart and sustainable mobility concepts like opening their our first mobilpunkt in May 2018, Bergen is able to play a part in reaching such ambitious sustainability goals to better meet the mobility demands of Bergen’s citizens. The integration of several linked transportation modes at Bergen’s mobilpunkt, like electric car-sharing vehicles and shared city bikes, have made shared sustainable transportation modes more accessible and visible to users. Designed to host multiple mobility functions, Bergen’s mobilpunkte are tailored for different neighbourhoods and feature appropriate infrastructure like bike racks, EV charging infrastructure, shared electrical vehicles and some are conveniently located near larger transportation hubs. Focusing on creating mobilpunkte that are locally sound, well-equipped and safe equate to Bergen’s success with the concept.
What is Bergen’s plan for the SHARE-North extension?
By offering shared sustainable mobility solutions to citizens through impactful project activities in SHARE-North, the City of Bergen has been able to incorporate various integrated mobility solutions into local transport and city planning strategies, like mobilpunkte and bike-sharing. Bergen plans to use the project extension as an opportunity to expand the number of mobilpunkte, as well as collaborate with companies to introduce a sustainable travel plan network for employees and companies (inspired by West Yorkshire Combined Authority!). The City of Bergen is looking forward to using the extension as an opportunity to focus on alternative mobility methods and spreading this knowledge to other Nordic cities.