Move Urban develops transferable recommendations for integrated mobility concepts for residential estates
The use of space-efficient mobility concepts when developing new residential quarters in cities can make a significant contribution to solving problems associated with urban expansion. The Urban Move project will develop and test concepts in a real-world laboratory in Berlin. The intended outcome of the project is that these concepts will provide a serious alternative to traditional forms of private motorized transport, relieve pressure on existing transport infrastructure and achieve cost benefits without neglecting individuals’ mobility needs.
This project has been chosen by the city of Berlin to be peer-reviewed in the frame of the Sustainable Cities Collaboratory: https://use.metropolis.org/news/sustainable-cities-collaboratory
Berlin is a growing city. It is expected that the population of Germany’s capital will increase by 7.5 % by 2030, reaching 3.8 million inhabitants. While the city’s dynamic development is generally reviewed positively, it also provides challenges. Significant pressure on the housing market gives rise to the claim that affordable and appropriate housing has to be available for every citizen now and in the future. Mobility planning needs to embrace the diverse needs of a growing number of inhabitants and commuters and simultaneously services and health care have to be prepared for the additional population. The City of Berlin’s Senate has pro-actively responded to the growth of the city. The Urban Development Concept 2030 has been updated and identifies ten places of transformation where the residential developments are concentrated. The plan’s objective is to develop and implement integrated approaches, which take into account the various challenges identified.
The key aim of the Move Urban project is to investigate institutional, legal and operational issues and their impact on each other in the living laboratory “Waterkant” (part of the new-build area called Wasserstadt Spandau) in Berlin. The recommended actions for the living laboratory will be examined to assess their general transferability, with the overall aim of being able to make statements of general validity. The project will focus on the mobility of individuals and also commercial transport and local logistics.
As part of the project, political decision-makers, local administrators, key actors in the residential property and mobility sectors as well as members of the public will be provided with fundamental and systematic information about the organizational and legal factors involved in the design of space-efficient mobility concepts. The goal is to develop transferable recommendations for integrated mobility concepts for residential estates. Such concepts should be able to ensure the provision of high-quality mobility against the background of expanding cities and growing shortages of space.
This inter-disciplinary project brings together people with skills in the fields of politics, urban planning, law and social sciences. The project’s inter-disciplinary nature will be ensured by its links with actual planning measures, topic-specific workshops and an advisory committee of relevant practitioners to monitor the progress of the project.
The lead agencies for the project are The Federal Ministry for Education and Research and FONA (Research for Sustainable Development).
Space-efficient mobility measures, such as car and bike sharing or mobility hubs, are not new. However, knowledge regarding how these mobility measures operate in new residential areas and the extent to which they are transferrable to different situations is limited. Specifically, what needs to be investigated is the relationship between supply, demand and the regulatory control of mobility services, and the impacts that can be anticipated. There is also a lack of clarity around factors that are specific to an individual location, e.g. the modal split that is typical of specific population groups, the geographical location such as the distance between the residential development and the nearest public transport stop.
There are also structural challenges when it comes to planning and implementing transport access to new-build residential estates. Firstly, the timescales involved in planning and building residential estates are very different from those necessary for creating efficient rail or tram links. Ideally, effective public transport links are already established before the first tenants move in. However, it is frequently the case, as can be seen in this project, that new-builds are completed much earlier than transport infrastructure and there is a great danger that during this time residents will establish car-oriented behaviours. Consequently, it is necessary to have alternative mobility services and measures that can be implemented at short notice as a substitute for private-car ownership. In this regard, there is not yet sufficient data available of the specific institutional, legal and operational implications of putting such measures into practice.
Gewobag Wohnungsbau-Aktiengesellschaft Berlin, WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte mbH: Waterkant Berlin: A new urban quarter: The project. Berlin, 2018. URL: https://waterkant-berlin.de/ein-neues-quartier/das-projekt/