Reclaim Street Space! – Exploit the European Potential of Car Sharing

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) are a core element of the European Commission's Urban Mobility Package. A bundle of measures combines infrastructure; clean fuels and vehicles; and soft measures to promote walking, cycling and public transport use. Looking at the problems of cities world-wide, one crucial aspect not (yet) adequately addressed is increasing car-ownership, leading to over-consumption of space in cities creating both congestion and parking problems. The City of Bremen's SUMP, which received the 2014 CIVITAS Award and the 2015 SUMP Award, integrates car sharing as a strategic element to reduce car ownership. The ambitious Car Sharing Action Plan from 2009, the first municipal thematic plan on car sharing, set a target of 20,000 car sharing users by 2020 and, more important, the replacement of about 6,000 private cars through the service of car sharing. Annual user surveys in Bremen show that every car sharing car takes 15 private cars off the road. This figure includes only cars that car sharers report giving up after becoming car sharers and does not include car purchases that were avoided by users who may have bought a car if no option had been available. Station-based car sharing, with its wide variety of vehicles and the reliability of pre-reservation (but also the option of spontaneous bookings) has a much higher impact on car ownership than does free-floating car sharing. In its 2010 ‘momorandum’, the European Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) project memo Car Sharing estimated that European cities could be unburdened of the parking needs of 600,000 cars – end-to-end a row from London to Athens – if other cities applied policies similar to those in Bremen (and also Switzerland). The potential is huge to improve traffic, the environment and quality of life in European cities. This practitioner's report presents municipal policies and activities undertaken in Bremen (1) to exploit the potential of car sharing (e.g. providing mobility hubs and on-street car sharing stations; integration in new urban developments; multi-modal integration; optimising fleet management, information and awareness), (2) to develop quality requirements and (3) to prepare for future developments (e.g. autonomous transport systems). It also clarifies the different roles of station-based and free-floating car sharing and their potential for different types of cities and towns. The presentation will show – from the perspective of a municipality – how car sharing can be integrated into both advanced sustainable urban mobility planning and into more efficient urban developments. New urban developments with integrated car sharing, bike sharing and high quality public transport do not need as many car parking spaces as conventional developments, creating potential for reducing costs and improving the quality of urban space.


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  • Accession Number: 01606015
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:29AM