Marking 50 years of mobility policy in Bruges

Author: Laura Schubert

In less than fifty years, the Belgian city of Bruges has undergone an incredible mobility metamorphosis, changing from a city tailored to the car to one made for people.

A new book Fifty Years of Mobility Policy in Bruges explores this rich history. Written by Bart Slabbinck, Handshake's project manager in Bruges, it shows how time does not stand still in this historic city.

Slabbinck, who has been working as a mobility expert at the City of Bruges since 2018, explains: "I submitted this paper as a thesis for the graduate course "traffic engineering and mobility" at Vives University of Applied Sciences. I found inspiration in an action from the Handshake project."

He comments that "with this piece of work, I look back in time… to 1972 when [Bruges’] Structure Plan was presented. It introduced a new perspective of the city and its traffic, and [it was then that] Bruges broke with a car-controlled traffic policy. The Structure Plan is therefore the ideal stepping stone for this piece of work.”

Readers of the publication learn not only about Bruges’ mobility planning, but also its cycling policy and the concept of ‘city-friendly mobility’.

Mayor of Bruges, Dirk De fauw, explains that Bruges’ mobility planning is “a story we still write today”. The city is currently expanding its pedestrian zone, adding new cycling routes, designing a new bus plan, and decreasing the speed limit on more city streets to a maximum speed of 30km/hr.

Read it online in English and in Dutch. For further background information (in Dutch), visit the Bruges city website.

A paper version can also be requested via mobiatbrugge [dot] be.

Read more on Bruges' work in Handshake here.

Image by: City of Bruges

This project has received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement no 769177.

The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the CIVITAS Handshake project and in no way reflects the views of the European Commission.