Getting from A to B in a complex mobility implementation process
Vries, Torben de
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The growing demand for urban living has a lot of consequences for cities. As cities attract more people, more houses have to be added while available space is becoming increasingly scarce. Building dense is an often-mentioned approach to satisfy housing demands. However, cities that already suffered from a decreasing liveability, congestion and lack of green space will continue to decrease in those aspects. Private cars within cities do have a very bad influence on urban living. As the population rises, the demand for travel grows with it. In many cities however, a capacity limited is reached. In order to improve the urban quality of life and keep cities accessible, alternatives to motorised private cars are needed. Sustainable urban mobility entails a shift from car-oriented neighbourhoods towards compactly built neighbourhoods dominated by active modes, such as walking and cycling. Other alternatives to the car, are shared mobility modes, which are gaining popularity rapidly. Many cities are starting to rethink their mobility strategy and starting to experiment with new mobilities by providing services and adapting the urban design. Also in the Netherlands, cities are starting to practise the shift as congestion problems, space scarcity and a decreasing quality of urban life are emerging. In the bigger Dutch cities, former brownfields are planned to be transformed into high-density and compact urban neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods have a pioneer position due to their size and their ambitions on sustainable mobility as becoming almost car-free, setting up a shared mobility system following the concept of MaaS (mobility as a Service). However, the implementation of these plans is expected to be complex and full of obstacles. This research focused on the institutional and financial obstacles and the way of counteracting them in the implementation process of sustainable urban mobility in two future urban neighbourhoods: Merwede Utrecht and Sluisbuurt Amsterdam. The research concludes that several obstacles are found in the cases of Sluisbuurt and Merwede. Although the cases did differ a lot, mostly institutional, the approach to major obstacles was comparable. The city of Amsterdam and Utrecht both took a large interest in the facilitation of mobility as a service by becoming owner of parking spaces and subsidise the still struggling private mobility providers for as long as necessary. Although a large responsibility lies with the market, municipalities are still making use of their powerful instruments to enforce a societal desired result.