Tag Archive: brussels

  1. Brussels Green Deal city logistics deadline for project submission extended to 22 September

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    Source: Mobilise

    Call for projects aimed at reducing logistics emissions across the Brussels-Capital Region remains open until the end of the working week

    As part of Brussels’ Green Deal on Zero Emission Urban Logistics, the call aims to support projects that lack support and cannot see the light of day due to lack of initial funding. It is designed to stimulate collaboration within the Green Deal, and is open to existing signatories, as well as those who wish to sign on at the same time.

    The purpose of the Urban Logistics Green Deal, which was launched in April of this year, is to bring together a community of pioneering organizations that want to move forward faster and further in the transition of logistics in Brussels. At the launch, figures were shared illustrating that, while accounting for only 17% of the kilometres travelled in Brussels, freight transport is responsible for 41% of NOx emissions, 30% of fine particle emissions and 29% of Brussels’ CO2 emissions from transport. Through this Green Deal, the Brussels-Capital Region wishes to support and promote the actions of companies that are pioneers in the transition to low-emission logistics.

    The aim of the call for projects is to:

    • stimulate the Brussels-Capital Region’s Urban Logistics Green Deal
    • support a minimum of 3 projects aimed at reducing logistics emissions
    • fund selected projects to the tune of €10,000 to €300,000 per project
    • support selected projects during the 2024 calendar year
    • support selected projects with the expertise of the Mobilise research group

    For detailed submission information, applicants can head to this page of the environnement.brussels website.

  2. Car Free Sunday arrives on September 17

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    Source: Brussels.be, MobilityWeek.eu

    The annual European Mobility Week takes place this year from 16-22 September, with Car Free Sunday in Brussels on September 17

    European Mobility Week sees participation from cities and regions in 39 countries across Europe, and this year takes on the theme Save Energy.

    In Brussels, the focus of Mobility Week is Car Free Sunday on 17 September, taking place across the City of Brussels and the whole of the Brussels Region. Car Free Sunday applies to all except taxis, scheduled buses, emergency services, police and persons with a special permit. In addition, any vehicles authorised to ride in Brussels during Car Free Day have to respect the maximal speed of 30 km/h. The whole Brussels Region will be closed to traffic from 9:30 am till 7 pm.

    Further afield, World Car Free Day falls on the last day of Mobility Week, September 22, an international event which aims to highlight the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens, including reduced air pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling in a safer environment.

  3. Brussels suburbs refuse entry to shared e-scooter services

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    Source: TheMayor.eu

    The suburbs surrounding the Belgian capital have recently made the decision to abolish access for e-scooters – in contrast to Paris’s policies, where they have been banned from the city centre’s streets.

    In April, Paris residents voted to ban the e-scooter sharing services within the city, sparking discussions about the potential emergence of this action in other major European cities. Interestingly, in neighbouring Belgium, it’s not the capital region but the tranquil suburbs adjacent to Brussels that are embracing this idea.

    These new changes mean that attempting to complete a journey on an e-scooter across the municipal limits to neighbouring suburbs just isn’t possible.

    E-scooter companies have since urged Flemish local authorities to allow shared micro-mobility services, however these efforts have been met with strong opposition. E-scooter operators like Bolt and Tier are keen to expand into the Flemish satellite municipalities surrounding Brussels due to their proximity to the city centre, unlike the municipalities situated to the south of Brussels, which are more distant from the centre.

    Given that shared e-scooter schemes would improve the mobility integration with downtown Brussels, where many residents work and spend leisure time, this begs the question of why the governments of the municipalities in question refuse to allow this.

    According to The Brussels Times, the smaller local governments are unimpressed by the numerous complaints about reckless speeding and chaotic parking that often accompany the use of shared micro-mobility services.

    Ingrid Holemans, the mayor of Zaventem, a town whose territory includes the international airport of the Belgian capital, simply stated, “We don’t want them.”

    The VIAS road safety institute reveals that accidents involving electric scooters in Belgium have quadrupled over the past two years. Such statistics raise concerns among local officials, who have concluded that e-scooters could disrupt the peaceful nature of suburban life.

    Even in Brussels proper, the future appears bleak for electric two-wheelers. Starting from 2024, only two operators will be allowed to operate within the Belgian capital, each with a cap of 4,000 scooters. Whether this restriction will influence the municipalities to open their doors to these services remains uncertain.

  4. Brussels proposes to reduce shared scooter numbers to 8,000 from 2024

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    Source: vrt nws

    With a current combined fleet of 21,000 scooters in the streets in the Brussels region, a draft decision aims to cut these down to 8,000 and limit the number of operators to 2

    The Brussels government wants to allow a maximum of 8,000 shared scooters in the capital’s streets from next year, vrt reports. With the number currently standing at 21,000, this equates to a reduction of more than 60%. The proposal comes in the form of a draft decision that the government has approved at second reading. From 2024, the government also wants only 2 distributors of shared scooters in the capital. Additionally, there be limits on other shared vehicles, such as bicycles and cargo bikes.

    To combat wild parking, the principle of “drop zones” will be extended to the entire territory of the capital region from January. Scooters will only be allowed to be left behind in those zones. The government also wants heavier fines, or levies for the movement or removal of a vehicle that is left behind, outside of these drop zones. If that is not sufficient, it cannot be ruled out that a strict ban will be introduced at a later stage. This was already stated in parliament a few weeks ago by Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt (Green).

    Last autumn, Van den Brandt presented the draft decision to regulate the market for shared scooters and bicycles in Brussels. Since then, there has been extensive consultation with, among others, the municipalities and police zones. The draft decree still has to be submitted to the Council of State before the government can start a third and final reading.

  5. Brussels’ Good Move Plan slashes traffic numbers and boosts cycling

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    The new traffic plan in the city’s centre has triggered a 19% drop in traffic while increasing cycling by an average of 18%.

    Good Move is the Regional Mobility Plan for the Brussels-Capital Region. Approved in 2020 by the Brussels Government, it defines the main policy guidelines in the field of mobility. This plan aims to improve the living environment of the people of Brussels, while supporting the demographic and economic development of the Brussels-Capital Region. In the city centre ‘pentagon’, the plan aims to change traffic flow through road closure and new one-way designation, thus leading to a less attractive driving experience.

    After six months, the first results of the scheme have been unveiled, though local authorities state that it is too early to draw broad and sweeping conclusions. Initial findings indicate that the central part of Brussels has a reduced traffic flow, with more walking space, pedestrians, cyclists, reduced noise and cleaner air when compared to measurement prior to the scheme. Total traffic has fallen by approximately 19%, while morning and evening rush-hour cycling has risen by an approximately 23% and 13% respectively.

    Alderman Dhondt was quoted in a press statement saying: “Many people have simply made a different mobility choice and switched to cycling or public transport, for example. The circulation plan thus contributes to the ultimate goal: a more pleasant city for everyone.”

  6. Commuting upgrade: Brussels to Leuven cycling highway planned for 2025

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    Source: Mayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    The new 16km highway (F29) will connect the two cities, providing a safer route for commuters to pursue more sustainable transportation options

    Recently announced by authorities in Belgium, a newly planned bicycle highway will connect the city of Leuven in Flanders to the country’s capital of Brussels. Many in the region already make the journey between the two cities as a part of their daily commute, thus, the project is likely to be positively received.

    The Flemish government aims to make the journey between the cities safer and faster, with construction starting next year and managed by The Werkvennootschap, a public works company. Additionally, the highway will link to the planned Brussels cycling ring, further connecting the wider city.

    Cycling Highways – a growing trend

    Bicycle highways have caught the attention of many governing bodies as of late, with projects announced across multiple regions. The infrastructure aims to handle the growing number of cycling commuters in a safe, efficient way. And, although most cities still do not have enough bike traffic to warrant the massive development, as Munich’s Deputy Mayor Katrin Habenschaden explained in a statement in May 2022: “If you sow cycling highways, you get cyclists.”

  7. Brussels’ ‘Car-Free Sunday’ leads to 90% drop in automobile-related pollution

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    Source: Mayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    On 18th September 2022, Brussels instituted a no-cars Sunday as part of European Mobility Week. From 09:30 am to 19:00 pm, cars were prohibited from much of the city to prioritize walking, cycling, and public transport.

    Outside of cultural and holistic benefits, Bruxelles Environment, the city’s environment agency, measured a 90% reduction in nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, both of which are toxic substances emitted by combustion engines. Additionally, the city saw significant drops in noise levels, again seeing an approximate 90% decrease in typically congested areas; this further demonstrates what modern urban planners have been suggesting in recent years, “cities are not noisy, cars are noisy

    Authorities point out that yearly emissions have been going down since 2019, by about 10% per year. However, there is still a long way to go, since according to the European Environment Agency, in 2018, Belgium registered around 8,900 deaths caused by air pollution.”

  8. Brussels-Capital Region municipality, Uccle, bans shared scooters

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    Source: Legaal Rijden, Peter

    Just south of the center of Brussels, residents have become increasingly frustrated with the nuisance of shared e-scooters, leading to a complete ban in the municipality.

    In Uccle, e-scooters have created major concerns due to the way in which riders were ditching their means of transport. Shared public spaces were overrun much to the frustration of city-dwellers, resulting in a complete ban on the shared micromobility fleets.

    The Brussels municipality has this week demanded by letter to the operators of shared scooters that the shared scooters must be removed from the streets within 10 days. They must also ensure that the shared scooters are no longer parked within the municipal boundaries. The new rules do not apply to private e-scooters and driving through the municipality on an e-scooter is still allowed.

    Belgium’s e-scooter and LEV legal backdrop continues to shift following the devices’ rise to popularity from 2018 onwards. In the last two years, bans have been placed on riders below the age of 16, the two-person riding of e-scooters, sidewalk riding, and limitations have been placed on speed in public areas. The latest development is another step toward Belgium finding a system that works for all citizens.

  9. Registration opens for the Annual POLIS Conference

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    Source: POLIS

    Registrations have opened for the 2022 annual POLIS (cities and regions for transport innovation) conference. 30 Nov – 01 Dec, Brussels.

    Europe’s leading sustainable urban mobility event returns in 2022, hosted at the EGG Brussels between 30 November and 1 December. Across two days, the POLIS Conference will offer a mix of plenaries, parallel sessions, deep dives, and networking opportunities.

    Plenaries will be live-streamed, while the wider conference will run as an in-person event.

    Ticket registration can be accessed, here.

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