In 2001, Bruxelles Mobilité assigned the consortium made up of Tractebel (Tractebel Engineering) and Espaces-Mobilités the task of performing an ambitious prospective and multidisciplinary study into the theme of mobility in the greater Brussels region by the year 2040. Mobility is no longer considered from a transport perspective only. It is now analysed systematically along on seven intermodal themes, taking into account governance, behavioural changes, the use of new technologies, dashboards, big data, digitalisation, urban logistics, new vehicles, new utilization (vehicle as a service), electrical vehicles, urban cable cars, integration in smart cities, town planning and more.
SUSTAINABLE AND INNOVATIVE MOBILITY
In 2040, today’s children will have become adults. They will be moving around, studying, working, going out, travelling, having children, setting up businesses, making decisions and shaping their future. Not to mention that by then, Brussel’s population is expected to have increased by 25%! The task of managing as from now this upcoming demographic explosion and tackling the ensuing economic, environmental and sociological consequences definitely is a major challenge for the Brussels-Capital Region.
Bruxelles Mobilité, the Region’s public service responsible for mobility in Brussels, launched Mobil2040. This is an ambitious undertaking based on a prospective, multidisciplinary study carried out by the engineering and consultancy firms Technum (Tractebel Engineering) and Espaces-Mobilités. Rather than seeing it simply as a technical problem or an obstacle preventing sustainable development, Mobil2040 invites people to look upon mobility as a lever for change. In addition, mobility is analysed not only from the perspective of the various means for getting around, but also as a means of changing behaviour, using new technologies, urban planning, creating proximity, promoting shared public spaces, encouraging citizen participation, highlighting one’s relationship with time and living environment, and in other respects.
Inspired by Mobel2040, the engineering and consultancy firms Espaces-Mobilités and Tractebel Engineering, in collaboration with the University of Liège and other European experts in the field will organize the First Conference on Urban Cable Cars in Belgium. It is a token of Tractebel Engineering’s intention to position itself in a booming market, both in Belgium and Europe.
To imagine what the mobility of people and goods will be like by 2040 looks a lot like a dream or even utopia. Yet, it is not about, of course, denying the current mobility issues in Brussels. Nor about devising an exact plan, which will prove therefore to be unrealistic, over 30 years. Rather, the aim is to challenge habits, inspire new ways of thinking and be more creative and collaborative. For this will help us revisit our vision of mobility and view it in terms of supporting an ambitious, innovative urban project.
The project has received gratifying feedback from countless citizens of all walks of life, from experts to students. They had access to all the relevant documents not only via the roadshows and exhibitions, but also, and mainly, via the project website www.mobil2040.be .
The consortium devised and implemented a communication strategy between 2013 and 2015, based on four main strands:
1) a gathering of experts, which covened more than 150 participants (ministers, mayors, media, experts, universities, private companies, Google etc.) so that this professional and multidisciplinary audience could assess the study’s approach;
2) a large-scale, immersive exhibition aimed at arousing the general public’s curiosity, particularly that of young people, about the nature of mobility in the future;
3) an active presence on social media, which involves a blog, a Twitter conversation and Facebook page, and included a competition for generating ideas, which strongly supported the presence on these networks.
o Facebook: www.facebook.com/mobil2040
o Twitter: www.twitter.com/mobil2040
o Website and blog: www.mobil2040.be
The Mobil2040 site welcomed visitors from 100 countries.
4) a roadshow presenting the ideas inspired by Mobil2040 in around 20 organisations and institutions of higher education.
Spaces and places
Development of areas, sharing public spaces, creating a local city, car-free zones, new places for work and human interaction: these are just some of the ideas which Mobil2040 will explore in terms of spaces and places.
Goods and requirements
An efficient supply of goods is paramount to the economic development of a metropolitan area. Some Brussels’ assets have been utilised inadequately so far. The Mobil2040 study is generating numerous ideas on how to improve the management of distribution in a city environment and of logistics centres, as well as how to increase the mobility of service providers.
Infrastructures and networks
How can we change the way of thinking and switch from a single-mode to a multimodal concept? How can we make the various public transport networks operate more efficiently across the whole greater Brussels Region? Do we need to rethink our road networks and encourage car-sharing? Do we need to develop a cycling infrastructure, thereby making the city accessible to everyone? The “Infrastructures and networks” specifications look at innovative ideas for each means of transport.
Individuals and behaviour
Lifestyles are constantly changing: think of flexible working practices and flex hours, an ageing population and young people’s disenchantment with the car. In the “Individuals and behaviour” specifications Mobil2040 outlines various ideas intended to better factor in these radical changes with the aim of enhancing quality of life.
Data and information
The development of new technologies and use of the vast quantities of data available may prove to be a very powerful tool for supporting urban policies and offering users multimodal and multifunctional information.
Vehicles and services
Tram-trains, urban cable cars, car-sharing, car-pooling, driverless cars: these are just a few of the many innovations that have already been tested around the globe, and which could be adapted in a beneficial manner to the situation in Brussels.
Actors and resources
Mobility-related issues require the Region to adopt a broad vision and its citizens to be more directly involved and think about new funding methods. The “Actors and resources” specifications outline a new form of governance for the Greater Brussels Region.
Mobil2040 applied to other cities. Creating a vision is becoming a popular practice and the methodology Tractebel Engineering has developed can provide a solid foundation for sound reflection.
The following aspects can be easily applied:
• Its highly rated approach can be used and enhanced based on real experience applied to a city of 1 million inhabitants.
• The benchmark has been set globally and covers topics which greatly extend beyond mobility-related themes.
• This benchmark, established in 2013, is constantly monitored and updated on the website and social networks. Therefore, it is widely acknowledged within the community that the engineers monitoring the project are up to date with the latest technologies and innovations in the areas just mentioned.
• The engineers in the team have developed skills in “community management”, as well as in crowd creativity and city marketing management.