In the last 25 years, the number of kilometres travelled per person has increased by approximately 40 per cent. However, this growth is beginning to level off. There seems to be a limit to our need for mobility, especially when it comes to using cars.
For example, young people are increasingly sharing cars and the e-bike has gained a substantial share of the market in a very short space of time. However, mobility isn't about quantity, it's increasingly about quality and smart technology. Nowadays, our chosen modes of transport not only take us from A to B, but they make our lives easier and our journeys more pleasant. Our infrastructure needs to facilitate this. There is always room for improvement in usage, interaction, safety and traffic flow, whether you're talking about cars, bicycles, public transport or any other mode of transportation.
Improving infrastructure is in our DNA. Innovations such as double-layer pervious concrete and self-healing asphalt are prime examples of this. To us, the issue of mobility is all about offering sustainable transport solutions.
The Smart Highway concept that we devised together with artist Daan Roosegaarde is our most famous idea on the world stage. This innovative concept creates an entirely new mobility experience for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Ideas from this testing ground are increasingly becoming part of our everyday landscape, such as the Van Gogh Roosegaarde Bicycle Path in Eindhoven – a shining example of infrastructure that boosts both the economy and tourism.
But we go much further than that. Together with BMW we offer car sharing for the residents of the Timmerhuis building in Rotterdam. Residents have access to three electric-powered BMWs, which they share between themselves. In this way, we combine mobility with housing.
Heijmans BikeScout helps improve safety for cyclists in villages and cities: it uses smart signals to warn drivers when cyclists are approaching dangerous spots on the road. At the side of the road, we are installing Heijmans Solar Noise Barriers (SONOB), which not only protect against noise, but also generate energy.
The roads and tunnels we construct incorporate a huge amount of technology and systems that help road authorities to optimise traffic flow and road safety.
In this way, Heijmans is clearly showing that mobility can be smarter, more interactive and more sustainable without having to widen roads or lay more rail connections. It's simply a case of putting demand first.