Make better use and share what already exists instead of always buying more
From Energy Cities Wiki
Is having car a necessity when it is used for only 2 to 5% of the time? Should we not rather rent a car when and where we need one? Is travelling alone really judicious when car-pooling is possible? Do we really have to buy a bike when bike rental services are available in our city? Is building new public buildings and facilities really necessary when existing ones are underused?
Here is the paradox. We have needs in terms of mobility and space that we satisfy by buying cars and building new public facilities. The advantages are well known: we have guaranteed availability of the goods we own. But the drawbacks are beginning to outweigh the advantages in a number of areas, both for individuals and the community: in cities, owning a car has become a source of annoyance and involves a significant outlay both for its acquisition and maintenance, whilst the energy and raw material used are disproportionate to the services provided.
Doing more with what we already have means giving use the priority over ownership. The so-called functional service economy consists of replacing consumption of commodities (such as energy) by their intelligent use, that is, optimising the use of the building stock rather than building new facilities, anticipating and facilitating emerging changes in citizens’ lifestyles through car-pooling, car and bike-sharing and community gardens, and encouraging the pooling and exchange of goods and services between citizens.
• Using examples, showing that such solutions provide practical and positive answers to the problems of everyday life and helping reduce public and private spending as well as energy and raw material wastage.
• Demonstrating the added value for society of solutions that promote post-individualistic urban lifestyles and empower citizens.
• Developing the sharing and pooling of goods and equipment between municipal departments.
The Swiss cities
Pioneers and leaders
Zurich invented car-sharing in 1948, when the members of a club pooled resources to buy a car! Revived in the 1990s in Germany and Switzerland, car-pooling is now a genuine alternative to private car ownership. Based in Switzerland, Mobility is currently the largest car-pooling company worldwide with over 80,000 subscribers and a fleet of 1,800 vehicles (saloon cars, estate cars and vans) available in 400 different areas!
The municipality and the car-sharing operator work hand in hand!
In Bremen, around 170 vehicles in over 40 stations are used by over 6,700 people. The service combines a monthly or yearly public transport pass and a key giving access to self-service vehicles and has contributed to a significant increase in the number of public transport users. 1,500 private cars have been taken off the roads in Bremen, whilst it is estimated that between 15 and 50 million euros will be saved on infrastructure (6,000 fewer parking spaces by 2020).
A large-scale urban revolution
Autolib’ was the first public electric car rental self-service to be introduced in a European metropolis. The 3,000 vehicles available for rent in Paris and the surrounding area represent a reduction in the number of private cars estimated at 22,500 vehicles, i.e. the equivalent of 164,500,000 km per year. This means not only less pollution, as electric cars pollute less than conventional vehicles, but also less congestion, less stress for all and more time for private individuals.
Two places of worship? No, one place and two kinds of worship!
In newly-built Rieselfeld, only one church is used by both the Catholic and Protestant communities as well as for ecumenical celebrations. Its modular structure makes it possible to move partitions, allowing it to be used either as a Catholic or a Protestant church. In a very symbolic way, Riesefeld’s Santa Magdalena church demonstrates that what can be done at the level of two religious communities can also be reproduced in other currently single-use public facilities!