Soft mobility as a concept

"Active mobility" refers to all forms of transport that are not (or partly) motorized - that is, a person moves around using his or her muscle power: walking, cycling, certain scooters, etc. fall into this category.

When we talk about "soft mobility", we add to the aforementioned group all the public transport of a country - it envelops all forms of mobility, except for motorized individual transport.

With the term "mobility transition", we refer to the change to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly form of mobility, away from a car-dominated vision of spatial planning. To achieve this, more people need to be willing to give up their cars from time to time in everyday life and in order to switch to soft forms of mobility.  

One of the goals of the Luxembourg Ministry of Transport is to increase the share of cyclists in Luxembourg to 11% by 2035.

What are the benefits of cycling and soft mobility for society as a whole ?  How can car users be encouraged to switch to more sustainable means of transport from time to time?

More and more studies show that cycling has benefits for society as a whole: for every kilometer cycled, society gains 30 cents. This is due to the positive effects on health, to lower costs for building cycling infrastructure and to fewer traffic accidents and injuries among other things. The healthier lifestyle that comes from commuting by bike thus has not only individual benefits, but societal benefits as well. In comparison, each kilometer traveled by car costs society 27 cents, due to factors such as emissions damage, expensive infrastructure, cars taking up space, etc.

Beyond the net financial gain, more soft mobility has other positive effects on our cities and living spaces:

  • More public safety
  • Less time spent in traffic jams
  • More car-free places and thus more attractive city centers
  • A general noise reduction in urban areas

That's why more and more cities nowadays try to achieve the goal of the 15-minute-city - a vision of a city in which every inhabitant can reach their basic needs (schools, shopping, hospitals, leisure) within a radius of 15 minutes on foot or by bicycle.