They are cost effective, time saving and you can load them with anything from weekly shopping to your kids. The City Changer Cargo Bike project (CCCB), funded by the European Union, aims to innovate urban mobility and make it more sustainable while still efficient through using cargo bikes.
Established in September 2018, the CCCB currently includes participants from 20 European countries. The main objective is establishing favourable conditions for widespread use of cargo bikes in an urban environment and introducing the benefits of their usage to the public. The official fact sheet of the project states that they have the potential to replace:
25 % of the commercial deliveries in cities
50 % of the commercial service and maintenance trips
77 % of private logistics trips (shopping, leisure and child transport)
Aside from the practical implementation of CCCB in cities, the organisers also do workshops, conferences, and webinars with target groups. Last but not least, they help the participants with funding of their own projects. Let’s have a look at a couple of best practices in European cities.
The potential of cargo bikes as means of goods delivery seems pretty self-explanatory. It’s environmentally friendly, sustainable, money and time saving. However, as it turns out, these special bicycles can contribute to social welfare on many other levels. A great example of that is the INTERSPAR-Lieferbox project launched in Austria. After making their purchase, customers of Interspar can use a home-delivery service offered by the supermarket chain. Helping to empower people who have a hard time entering the labour market for various reasons, the deliveries are carried out by them – well, you guess what they’re riding. Both beneficial and sustainable. Well done!
The Cycling Without Age project uses cargo bicycles to help the elderly re-join the public life and public space. Eight years ago, the project’s founder Ole Kassow was looking for a way to prevent the elderly from social exclusion. And he’s found a way: together with a group of volunteers, they would offer free rides to local nursing home residents. The project has since spread to 40 countries of the world.
Throughout Europe, coffee shops, restaurants, and bistros are already using bicycles to deliver their products to customers. We are used to seeing messengers pedalling on two wheels loaded with packages for customers. But these are not reserved solely for the private sector. There are also municipalities that have come up with ideas of putting cargo bikes to use. The city of Graz, for example, has been using them for street cleaning and garbage collecting.
Are you used to seeing cargo bikes in your city or do you ride one yourself? Any ideas on how they could change your hometown for the better? Let us know in the FB comment section!