Travel behavior, Smart and innovative

Testing in the neighborhood of the future

Published on April 26, 2023

Brainport Bereikbaar wants results on the street. That is why we are always looking for new mobility concepts and solutions. So we participate in Brainport Smart District. Because everything that is learned in this neighborhood of the future is valuable for better accessibility of our region.

It is located in Helmond: The district of the future. What makes it so special? 'It is a neighborhood that is safe and sustainable and where residents themselves have an influence on the development of the living environment, says Niels Weterings. 'To achieve this, various parties in BSD are investigating the effects of innovative concepts and solutions. In conjunction with each other. I am the program manager of the mobility component. Our specific goal is to avoid, reduce and change the number of transport movements in this district. We strive for a healthy neighborhood and focus on emission-free transport. For example, no cars are allowed to drive in this district, but only emergency services or light electric vehicles.' Residents and visitors travel as much as possible on foot, by bicycle or by public transport and can use shared vehicles.

Concrete measures in living lab

It is therefore urgently necessary to encourage other modes of transport such as walking and cycling. 'Just like switching to public or collective transport. We are testing all kinds of concrete measures for this. Extensive public transport, cycling incentives and as many facilities as possible in the area. In collaboration with Brainport Bereikbaar, we have also created a hub offering shared services. Now we look at which combinations work best. This is perfect here in this neighborhood because it functions as a living lab. It is still small with 53 homes. The current residents consciously chose to live here and are happy to help achieve a pleasant, safe and vital living environment. But ultimately 2,100 homes should be built here. How will we get all those residents to make different mobility choices? How will they go to work later? How will they use the hubs? How does it work when people have visitors? We want to get an idea of the answer to those questions as quickly as possible.

Stimulate behavioral change

That is why Brainport Bereikbaar BSD not only helps with shared mobility hubs, but we are now also looking at behavioral change. 'On the one hand, we research and test mobility adjustments, and on the other hand, behavioral change. Because you can put everything in a good position, but people have to use it. Only that will lead to a well-functioning and sustainable mobility system that benefits everyone. It is therefore very nice that Brainport Bereikbaar makes this behavioral change possible. The current mobility hub also plays a role in this. We offer shared cars to current residents and in the meantime we can learn from them about how people deal with them. We hear that some people are willing to get rid of their car if the hubs work well. We would of course like to see that and we will investigate it further. For example, when is shared mobility a financially reasonable alternative to your own car? And how can high and lower income earners use the system and experience mobile inclusivity? Exciting and challenging issues.'

On the way to a new living environment

Project leader Jacco Philippo of Brainport Bereikbaar agrees: 'BSD is a wonderful experiment with many similarities with Brainport. That is why we are happy to participate in BSD with a budget and knowledge sharing. We are very curious about the results of all research and tests. For example, why do people choose to live in this neighborhood? What triggers make them want to leave or even get rid of their car? Why do they choose public transport or not? How can we convince people that it is nice to live in a neighborhood like BSD? We want to learn as much as possible from this so that we can later apply it in other regions. It also applies that experiments that fail also produce results. Because then we don't have to try that again somewhere else. Personally, I am very curious whether BSD shows how and whether we can make the business case for providers of shared mobility in these types of neighborhoods interesting. I believe that we should not leave that challenge to the market alone. Together we must work towards more sustainable and safe mobility. And I hope and think that BSD will provide us with a lot of useful information. Together we work out our ambitions and build up knowledge. Towards new forms of mobility and a new living environment.'

'BSD is a wonderful experiment with many similarities with Brainport'

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