The city of Turnhout and project developer ION have decided to structurally integrate a car sharing station in a new housing development in Niefhout, the first time this has ever been done in Belgium. This way, the city council and the project developer make a statement by opting for sustainable mobility. With a starter package, new inhabitants of the development get access to the car sharing system, making the purchase of a (second) car unnecessary. The city of Turnhout and ION will work together with car sharing service cambio Vlaanderen. Niefhout is a new housing development on the former FORESCO site between the Guldensporenlei and the Diksmuidestraat.
Cheaper and less hassle
Car sharing has many advantages. Individual users are offered an alternative to using their own car. Not only is opting for car sharing cheaper for those who don’t use their car very often (driving less than 10,000 kilometres a year), it also takes away a lot of hassle (no paperwork for the insurance, no maintenance…).
Fewer parking problems
The city also benefits from car sharing. “Every shared car takes 13 privately owned cars off our streets. That way, car sharing helps solve our city’s parking problems. In addition, cambio users more often take their bike or make use of public transport”, says councillor Marc Boogers, responsible for mobility.
Car sharing in housing development regulations
Because of this win-win situation, the city of Turnhout has structurally embedded car sharing in the development regulations for Niefhout. Specifically, project developer ION commits to providing a car sharing station for at least one shared car and promoting it among the inhabitants of the new development.
Pioneers in Belgium
With this structural measure, the city of Turnhout plays a pioneering role in Belgium. Never before has the concept of car sharing been structurally integrated in the permit procedure of a new housing development in this way.
The sixth cambio car in Turnhout is on its way
For the practical implementation and on-site organisation, ION closed a deal with car sharing company cambio. This organisation is already active in Turnhout with five shared cambio cars, distributed over five stations.
The extra station in Niefhout will be integrated in this offer. This means the 150 other cambio users in Turnhout will also be able to make use of these cars. An introduction package will give new inhabitants of the development the chance to discover car sharing.
Focus on ‘smart’ mobility
The innovative choice to structurally integrate car sharing in this housing project combined with its location close to Turnhout station and the city centre, ensures that the focus of the project is on ‘smart’ mobility (public transport, biking, car sharing).
That focus is in line with Slim Turnhout’s vision, which also encompasses the new housing development of Niefhout. Slim Turnhout is a cooperation between the city of Turnhout, ION and PMV, an independent investment company. Together, they will transform the area around Turnhout’s rail station into a new neighbourhood allowing for ‘smart’ living and working to develop.
Cambio car sharing is a flexible scheme that provides cars day and night on several locations in the city (for both individuals and for organisations and companies). The cars can be booked in advance and collected at one of the car sharing stations. How much you pay, depends on how much you use the car (time and distance). As a cambio user, you also have access to all the other cars in other cambio cities in Belgium.