It is important that together we make the transition to a climate-proof and sustainable society. That is precisely why our newest recruit Martine Leijs advises municipalities on area developments.
She gets straight to the point: “I subscribe to the importance of the transition to a sustainable future. I see mobility as the knob to turn. By deploying mobility differently, you can save space, and that freed up space can be used to design a better, healthier and climate-proof living environment.”
Cars on/out/off the road
Martine explains that in recent decades, the car has been put first in the design of public space. “Almost everywhere you look, there is a lot of space for the car and relatively less for pedestrians and cyclists – or for greenery and water. In proportion, a car takes up a lot of space and also stands still a lot. Especially in highly urbanized areas where space is scarce, you can already see the turnaround in which streets are becoming car-free again and there is more space for greenery, for example.”
Within area developments, mobility is often a hot topic. “‘How many parking spaces need to be realized and can the surrounding road network handle the traffic pull’ is usually the first question. As far as I’m concerned, the question can be more open-ended; ‘How would we like people to form their travel needs here?’ ‘What modalities have potential?’ ‘What facilities does this require?’ ‘How can you be efficient with your space and make it work?'”
“And that, of course, all touches on the municipal parking policy against which initiatives and the final building permit application are reviewed. Opportunities to allow for customization in the policy and good cooperation between developer and municipality are essential to achieve optimal interpretation in this regard.”
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A challenge of importance
“In addition, many current issues come together within area developments,” Martine expands on her passion for the work. “How do we make our country energy-neutral, climate-robust, circular, how do we solve the housing shortage and how do we deal with changing legislation such as the Environment Act. It is no longer just about putting up a building, but mobility, health, climate adaptive and energy are and should be included more as a component.”
“These changes do not make developing areas easier, but perhaps more important because they affect so many important themes. It is challenging to work on and dare to do things differently to ensure together that we can hopefully live safely and healthily on our earth for a long time to come.”
The Future Mobility Network is happy to help and think along on this, advising both municipalities and developers on incorporating future-proof mobility within area developments.
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