SHARING IS FOR EVERYONE
This is what Mechelen makes evident. In their excellent communication campaign, called ‘Delen is voor iedereen’ (sharing is for everyone), they make sure that everyone (residents, local entrepreneurs, and the like) understands all benefits of shared mobility. On the one hand, their communication campaign focuses on informing and stimulating people on the possibilities regarding shared mobility by letting people talk about their experiences with shared mobility (ambassadors) and by giving people incentives to use shared mobility systems (e.g. by free memberships). On the other hand, Mechelen also spotlights shared mobility as a good alternative for the car by specific promotional actions, such as a ‘fashion show’ of shared mobility modes. In this way, the city makes it clear that shared mobility is a good alternative and can be used by everyone.
ZERO EMISSION CHAMPION
Mechelen is Flanders’ number one city in charging infrastructure and sets a clear goal to make at least half of the carsharing offer in the city zero emission by 2025. Furthermore, in Mechelen, the focus clearly lies on getting people on their bikes rather than inside their cars, thus promoting zero emission mobility as well. In this, Mechelen makes clear that zero emission and sustainable mobility don’t necessarily mean driving electric cars. Rather, it’s making use of the most environmentally friendly possibility for your trip.
Mechelen clearly strives to bring people into direct contact with shared and sustainable mobility. The city does this through the project ‘Sharing Neighbourhoods’, where people can try out sustainable alternatives (shared cars, bikes and public transport) for free, and this for a whole month. This really lowers the threshold for people who are unsure whether they would be able to use alternatives for the car in their daily lives.
AN OFFER THAT FITS THE NEEDS OF ALL INHABITANTS
Another lowering of the threshold can be found in the way Mechelen provides a shared mobility offer that fits the needs of almost every resident in the city. For example, Mechelen has a free wheelchair friendly bicycle that can be used for free by those who need it. While such an offer should be increased even more (e.g. by wheelchair friendly cars), it’s still an important step that only few cities take the effort to make.
CONNECTING PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT
Shared mobility doesn’t only have a place in Mechelen’s personal transport system, it also is integrated into the mobility system for commercial transport. For example, deliveries in Mechelen can be made at local mobility hubs and Mechelen makes an effort to promote shared mobility for local entrepreneurs as well. In this, they not only target their inhabitants, but also people working in the city. A shared van that can be used for free by entrepreneurs ensures that this target group is involved in the shared mobility implementation of the city as well.