“Make buildings fit for bikes” urges ECF in bid to make cycling natural choice

The European Cyclists’ Federation has published a new position paper urging the European Commission to put into the Buildings Directive legislation prompting provision for cyclists.

Having recently published its “Fit for 55” package – a set of legislative proposals that aim to see a carbon emissions slashed by 55% by 2030 – the European Commission has identified transport and buildings as two key sectors due reform.

The two have interlinkages, despite having separate targets and with this in mind the ECF’s paper seeks to reform the EC’s revision process. “Making buildings fit for cycling by revising the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,” is the title, within which proposals include:

  • Minimum requirements for cycle parking
  • Minimum requirements for the provision of electric bike charging, as you might expect to see for larger EVs
  • Improvements made to the environmental and mobility performance of buildings (in tandem with better regulation of car parking)

The ECF recommendation on cycle parking is to follow an existing Bulgarian standard that mandates 1.5 cycle parking spaces per residential unit for all apartment constructions. A similar guideline exists in Singapore, which has also mandated that building developers start building for increased active travel.

As for electric bikes, in respect of sales growth taking a sharp upward trajectory, there is a light recommendation to make some of those cycle parking spaces charge ready. As many e-bike batteries are still removeable, the recommendation is only that 1.5 charge points should exist per ten residential units in an apartment complex.

Finally, addressing a heavy provision for cars that exists within current regulations, the ECF seeks a more appropriate balance, adding that the €30,000 per unit cost on underground parking is not good value for money for society. Therefore it is recommended “that all minimum car-parking requirements in urban centres that are well served by public transport as well as by safe walking and cycling facilities should be eliminated and replaced by maximums, i.e. no more than 0.5 parking spots per residential unit).”

The notion that housing developers are noticing the space and cost inefficiencies of providing for cars in cities has been picked up upon by bike brands; Orbea being one such label to partner a housing developer to promote electric bike travel.

Related: Meet CyclingScore, the business that helps buildings owners up their appeal to cycle commuters through refits and ratings.