Shift to second gear with Green Deal Bicycle

Report of the first working session of 2022

Get more employees and residents to cycle more often: that’s the goal of Green Deal Bicycle. Cycling is good for the environment and for your own health. In the first work session of 2022, the enthusiastic participants ensured that the Green Deal Bicycle is now in second gear. “We have to position ourselves well in the existing bicycle network.”

Green Deal Bicycle is gaining momentum. After the first talks in 2021, the covenant is now under construction. Concrete steps will be added in the coming weeks: like what organizations can do themselves to get more people to cycle more often.

There will also be an annual plan, fed by today’s work session and other meetups. “That way we can all make the progress that is needed — accelerating to eventually be able get to a sprint,” says Richard Hoving of the Amsterdam Economic Board.

Making and measuring impact

The goal of Green Deal Bicycle is clear: to make an impact. But what is that actually, and how to measure it? Green Deal Bicycle focuses on four themes: bicycle service points, bicycle-friendly employment conditions, knowledge bundling and young people on a bicycle. With the Impact Institute we’re now looking at what the exact impact of Green Deal Bicycle could be.

According to the Impact Institute impact is the difference you make by having an effect on things that are valuable. That value goes beyond the traditional profit and loss account. “We also look at the financial impact on society, on people,” explains Roland van Keeken from the Impact Institute. “And to other types of capital than financial capital, such as environmental, social and intellectual capital.”

In the coming period, the Impact Institute will closely monitor the Green Deal. A value creation model will show the impact of the Green Deal at a glance. This is worked out in more detail for each theme and then it is examined how you can measure the effect.

Four themes

Different parties are working on each of the four themes. In breakout sessions the parties discuss the state of affairs and how they will continue in 2022.

Bicycle service points

This year a bicycle service point will open in Schiphol-Noord. The participants in the break out sessions hope the service point will become a blueprint for other service points in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, of course tailored to the specific environment. A student from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is going to help with research into this.

Bundling knowledge

A bicycle knowledge cluster in the shape of an online platform: that idea emerged from this sharing session. “We have to make knowledge available and find each other better”, explains Femke Haccou from the AMS Institute to. “The platform must be interesting for education, but also for HR specialists who are concerned with employment conditions and for civil servants who want to make their city more bicycle-friendly. At the same time, we must not become just another platform about cycling. We must position ourselves well in the existing cycling network.”

Working conditions

There is already an annual plan for the theme of working conditions. An important activity is expanding the network around this subject, because there is still a lot of unfamiliarity among employers about the various schemes. Employers are also struggling with the lack of good and safe bicycle parking spaces, confirms Frans Klaver from Cordaan, an organization with more than 100 locations in the city. The participants will discuss this with officials from the municipality and province.

The term ‘working conditions’ for this theme is actually just a bit too narrow, concluded those present. Because there are also plenty of opportunities to get employees to use a bicycle, outside the terms of employment. There are already a few inspiring examples of this and they will be shared at meetings this year.

In addition, the lobby towards The Hague will be strengthened. “There is still a perverse tax incentive to discourage bicycle use for work,” says Rein Aarts from Breikers. Richard Hoving understands from his contacts at the Ministry of IME that they want to have more insight into the nature of the bicycle issues. So these should be made clear in the near future. The Hague can also do something about the standard for bicycle parking spaces in parking garages that dates from the eighties and are therefore hopelessly outdated.

Children on bicycles

The number of children and youngsters using a bike to commute to school, sport or friends is on the decline. An important focus in this theme is safety around schools and the image of cycling among children. A first Green Deal Bicycle pilot is already ongoing at a daycare center. Today’s participants elaborate the discussed topics into a joint plan, such as data on bicycle ownership/bicycle access and fear perception among parents.

Want to join?

Do you also want to contribute ideas about one of the themes or follow the developments? Please contact Richard Hoving, Mobility Lead at Amsterdam Economic Board.

Green Deal Bicycle is an initiative of the Amsterdam Economic Board, in close collaboration with the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, Vervoerregio and BYCS.

 

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