Hubs in existing neighbourhoods
Mobility transition and hubs
Dutch cities are facing the challenges of keeping their centers attractive for living and working, increasing the quality of their densities, improving air quality, and making their living environments resilient to the consequences of climate change. To achieve this without compromising their accessibility, our mobility needs to be more efficient, sustainable and inclusive. Mobility hubs are an important link in this transition. They are locations where a switch between modalities can take place: places where mobility services and flows converge, with shared mobility as a central component. By linking other functions and facilities to hubs, they can develop into multifunctional nodes for their surroundings.
Large city neighborhoods as research material
Five areas have been studied to explore the spatial integration and impact of hubs in the existing urban fabric, namely Amsterdam Centrum-West, the Zeehelden- and Regentessekwartier in The Hague, Oud-Strijp in Eindhoven, the Oude Noorden and Liskwartier in Rotterdam and Vaartsche Rijn in Utrecht. These pre-war neighborhoods that weren’t designed for cars, have been identified by the G5 as promising for the integration of hubs. For this study, we used GIS to map the situations and calculate the spatial requirements and gains. We also worked intensively with relevant officials to answer several pragmatic research questions, for example, where do the opportunities for hubs lie, what is the spatial impact on a neighbourhood, how does a network of hubs grow, and what do hubs look like?
Some conclusions in response to these questions are:
- Mobility hubs are the nodes in the future network of shared mobility. A strategy for hubs must therefore start from the whole network in an area to be effective.
- The network of mobility hubs can create "superblocks" in the urban structure, allowing 70% of streets to be made car-free and allowing partial mobility to be carried out via larger arteries connecting the hubs.
- Mobility hubs allow up to 80% of the parking space in an existing neighbourhood to be dedicated to pedestrians and green space.
- The size of a hub depends on the intended effect. Greater accessibility benefits from a network of many small hubs. If space gain is the goal, then a few large hubs can free up to almost 90% of parking spaces.
With these insights, a first, important step has been taken towards a strategy for mobility hubs in existing areas. Follow-up research is needed on similar strategies in smaller cities and rural areas to bring closer a future with a full network of mobility hubs.To the research report (in Dutch)