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Living in 2030: Have you reserved your parking space yet?

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The number of inhabitants in Belgium increases by an average of 50,000 people every year. According to the Federal Planning Bureau, the Belgian population will reach 13 million by 2060. Flanders and Brussels, in particular, are in danger of reaching their limits. We will have to be smarter about the layout of our country if we want to keep it liveable.

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The Belgian population is growing by an average of 137 people per day. The countryside is emptying and the cities keep getting busier and busier. This leads to overcrowded roads, housing shortages, and an acute shortage of parking spaces. And that’s just the beginning. Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia each have their own plans for a liveable Belgium.

The bicycle connects Flanders and Wallonia

The transport networks of Flanders and Wallonia may be as different from each other as day is from night, but the solution for both may come from the same place.

Flanders has the most ribbon development in the whole of Europe. As a result, Flemish residential centres are extremely fragmented, which has disastrous consequences for mobility. Put very simply: those who live far outside the city centre use the car more often. On the other hand, Wallonia has relatively dense and well-distributed transport networks for lower population numbers. The Walloon challenge is to connect the separate transport networks of neighbouring regions, preferably with timetables that are convenient and profitable.

Further investment in public transport or deployment of multimodality are the options for the government. The Walloon as well as the Flemish and federal governments see the bicycle as playing a key role in the mobility mix. The bicycle is often the missing link between public transport and the place of departure or final destination, which is why it is being promoted with tax incentives and certainly the construction of cycling infrastructure. Download our latest whitepaper for a detailed description of the crucial role of the bicycle.

A liveable and attractive capital

Brussels continues to follow the path it has taken. One of the spearheads of the Good Move mobility plan is the creation of 50 car-free neighbourhoods by 2030. There is more room for meeting in the city centre and less nuisance in the neighbourhoods in these car-free neighbourhoods. The inhabitants of Brussels literally and figuratively get more oxygen: more greenery, more outdoor spaces, more meeting places, and more space to play. In short: a liveable and attractive capital.

The federal mobility budget can also encourage people to leave their car at home. Do you live within five kilometres of your usual place of work? Or do you work from home over 50% of the time during one working month? Then you can spend part of your mobility budget on the rent or mortgage interest charges for your home. You can read more about the mobility budget in our latest white paper.

The architects of the future

Today, mobility providers, the municipality, and developers are getting together even before ground is first broken for a project. Living, working, and mobility options are designed in advance by the architect of a residential area or complex. Each new project is a comprehensive concept in which the local government is already actively participating in its policy-making.

The necessary parties are called in to meet every conceivable need of the residents. This includes amenities like parking spaces for shared cars or charging points for electric bicycles. Why buy a car or bike for yourself if you’re not using it 95% of the time? We’re going to share bikes and even cars and put them in a communal place. And you can easily pay for this with a mobility budget.

Would you like to know more about living in 2030? Read our latest white paper: Living, Working, and Mobility in 2030.

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