By 2040, today’s children will be adults. They will move around, study, work, go out, travel, have children, create companies, take decisions, and face the future all by themselves. By then, the population of Brussels will likely have grown by 25%! So a major challenge for the Brussels-Capital Region is to manage, starting from now, this expected demographic boom and the economic, environmental and sociological consequences that will flow from it.
Since today’s dreams will help to form the city of tomorrow, Brussels Mobility, the Regional Public Service of Mobility in Brussels, has launched Mobil2040: an ambitious initiative based on a forwardlooking and multidisciplinary study undertaken by two local consultancy firms. Rather than simply seeing a technical challenge or an obstacle to sustainable development in isolation, Mobil2040 invites readers to envisage mobility as a lever for change. The study not only looks at mobility from the viewpoint of transport, but also in terms of a behavioural change, new technologies, urban planning, ‘local’ facilities, shared public spaces, citizen participation, time considerations and our way of life.
The strength of this holistic approach is its ability to generate a debate and to challenge all generations on the future of urban travel. The project has been the subject of numerous participatory presentations to schools and universities to encourage the creativity of future decision-makers, those who will be in their
forties by 2040, but the discussion has also been with transport operators, regional institutions and labour organisations. The vision has been greeted with great enthusiasm which has helped all mobility actors refresh their outlook on how we move about the city. Some of the ideas will also be used in the preparation of the next regional mobility plan, work that will be developed in the next two years.
The disciplines included in the Mobil2040 initiative are largely transferable to other cities and regions. The hope is that they can inspire other public authorities and transport operators through an interactive blog and thematic reports in French and Dutch and a storytelling brochure available in French, Dutch and English.
For information: Marianne Thys, Secretary of the Mobility Committee of the Brussels Capital region