When car sharing goes beyond green mobility

With traffic congestion and pollution being two central issues cities are tackling today, the Finnish town of Kerava is doing a new e-car sharing experiment which turn out to teach citizens more than what was expected.

04 Sep 2019 - UPDATE

Cities worldwide are affected by several problems, most of which are linked to mobility. Traffic jams, for instance, are ubiquitous in big cities as huge numbers of vehicles move about the streets every day. In the recent years, cities are mitigating these issues through a series of alternative and innovative solutions.

From megalopolises to small towns, municipalities are investing more of their money to increase the pedestrian ways, to add green areas, to boost public transport and to encourage the “sharing” culture of cars, bikes and scooters. The latter example is probably one of the most adopted actions across European cities thanks to its numerous benefits. Firstly, it saves money as it allows one to share the economic burden often accumulated single-handedly when owning a private vehicle. Secondly, roads are freed from traffic and are, thus, safer. Thirdly, sharing vehicles reduce pollution and energy dependency from fossil fuels. An overall health improvement is also expected due to an increase in biking and walking frequencies.

The city of Kerava (Finland), one of MAtchUP follower cities, experimented an electric car sharing project among its citizens. Together with Arthur Lankester, the EU Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) awarded the initiative by filming a short video about it. As shown in the video, most of the users had never experienced either electric cars or car sharing before this experiment. Soon enough, they discovered the numerous benefits of this initiative.

Other than sharing the maintenance costs based on the kilometres driven, the car sharing scheme also sparked other kinds of sharing initiatives. Users had the chance to better know their neighbours and to nurture new relationships. They learned how easy and fun it would be to share things with other families, other than cars. This initiative allowed them to open up and build a community where everyone helps each other in other activities like gardening.

Watch the video and share the story.