What will tomorrow's mobility have to look like in order to take into account the special features of the city structure and the diverse lifestyles of its residents? Questions like these were addressed by national and international experts and representatives of the city of Bielefeld at the "Future Mobility" round table of the Open Innovation City project at the Lenkwerk Bielefeld and via livestream. In the end, all participants agreed that a mobility revolution in urban areas will only succeed if all sectors of urban society are involved to the same extent.


Start date 29.09.2021 - 14:00
End date 29.09.2021 - 19:00

International panel discusses the future of mobility in urban areas

In the field of mobility, cities in all parts of the world are facing major challenges: Air pollution, noise, congestion, scarcity of space or new mobility needs of people. More and more cities are therefore currently developing promising approaches aimed primarily at reducing motorized individual traffic and rededicating land for the benefit of the population.

Such a mobility change in the inner city, as can currently be seen in Bielefeld, raises questions, opportunities and challenges for all sectors of urban society. The first interdisciplinary round table "Future Mobility" in Bielefeld brought together experts from the fields of business, science and administration to discuss urban mobility concepts (Agenda).

From an international perspective, Sara Bergendorff, mobility strategist at the Office of Transport of the City of Stockholm, Ivo Cré from the European city network POLIS (focus: cooperation on transport solutions) and Wim Schuddinck, mobility expert from the City of Ghent, presented best practice examples from their respective cities. In doing so, Schuddinck in particular made it clear during his presentation of the new transport plan of the city of Ghent: "If we want to change something in the city, we need to know why we want to do it and how we want to implement it." The focus here, he said, is on the participation of all stakeholders, because new information, problems and ideas will develop from this. Only in this way, he said, could it be possible to develop a mobility concept that is accepted by the community.  The urban expertise was rounded off by Kathrin Konrad, traffic engineer of the Emission-Free City Center project of the city of Dortmund, who presented the microdepot concept anchored there and the topic of last-mile logistics in city centers.

The scientific focal points were set by Simon Herzog, UnternehmerTUM Munich, on the topics of decarbonization of transport and mobility innovations, and Jens-Peters Seick, as project manager in the Future City Solutions business unit and representative of the Fraunhofer IOSB-INA Lemgo research institute, with his presentation on mobility and sustainability. Dirk von Schneidemesser, an urban and mobility researcher at IASS Potsdam, highlighted the potential of transportation transformation for urban retailers, noting that "the stay in cities is significantly increased when they are beautified and the streets are opened for people." Retailers' perceptions and fears of financial loss are often unfounded, he said, because contrary to all expectations, customers come to city centers much more often by public transit, bicycle or on foot, rather than by car. As a rule, they also spend significantly more than those who come to shop by car (summary of his study in the "Forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften").

From an entrepreneurial point of view, Rüdiger Bierhenke, sales manager of Hörmann KG in Steinhagen, reported on his experiences in the field of "intelligent access protection" and presented various approaches to solutions for city centers. For example, access traffic to the city center could be solved by intelligent bollard control.

"We had excellent speakers from an international and national environment as guests, who revealed a huge range of topics. The mobility turnaround is in full swing in many places and is already being implemented very successfully using a variety of approaches," said Henning Duderstadt, head of the Innovation Office, summing up the event: "Involving urban society from the outset and recognizing that the communication strategy is highly important are crucial for sustainable success so that the change can be embraced by everyone."

The goal, he said, must be to take up and deepen these issues and the continuing discussions in order to implement them further in Bielefeld.

The event was moderated by Dirk Ludewig (NerdStar UG).

Photos: Benni Janzen Photography.



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