Mobility in the city: clean, safe, stress-free
The research agenda "Sustainable Urban Mobility" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) outlines how science and practice can shape the way to a humane and environmentally friendly mobility system. With the competition MobilitätsWerkStadt 2025, the BMBF calls on municipalities to submit proposals for model projects. The funding initiative ‘Mobility Future Lab 2050’ aims to develop systemic innovations for the mobility of the future.
The mobility sector is very dynamic: Digitization, electrification and automation have the potential to fundamentally change mobility. At the same time, attitudes and mobility behavior are also changing - e.g. some population groups are increasingly using means of transport flexibly and linking them together.
On the right track to sustainable mobility?
The BMBF wants to contribute with the research agenda to the fact that the change in mobility is accompanied by greater sustainability. So far, the transport sector has a significant impact on people and the environment, inter alia, through climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions, local pollution, noise and land use. In addition, infrastructure is partly overburdened and not easily accessible to everyone, which restricts individual mobility.
Sustainable mobility becomes concrete locally. The research agenda therefore focuses on cities and peri-urban areas. Sustainability, thus, encompasses ecological, social and economic aspects. The task is,
- to minimize transport-related emissions and resource consumption,
- to ensure individual needs, security, free development and participation of all population groups, and
- to strengthen social welfare, competitiveness and quality of the city's business location.
The BMBF will help local authorities to work together with relevant players from economy, civil society and science, to agree on these requirements and to find locally suitable answers.
How do we accomplish the transformation?
Technological approaches alone are not enough to solve sustainability issues in the transport sector. These must be brought together with individual preferences and possibilities of municipalities. Therefore, the research agenda relies on a systemic approach. Changes occur in the interplay of technologies, urban and infrastructure planning, social behavior as well as societal and individual needs. By promoting systemic mobility research, the BMBF aims to identify the starting points which are suitable for more sustainable mobility.
How can research contribute to sustainable mobility?
Transformation of the mobility system is a longstanding process - at the same time, rapid and effective impulses to relieve the cities are necessary and possible. The objective of the funding is, firstly, to bring sustainability innovations into practice. Secondly, a sound basis for long-term innovation and transformation management should be created.
That is why the BMBF published two funding guidelines to call for project proposals:
The BMBF supports 50 municipalities with the competition MobilitätsWerkStadt 2025 to shape the transformation of the mobility sector in cooperation with key players and multipliers from economy, civil society and science. The common task is to develop sustainable, innovative and tailor-made local mobility concepts.
The BMBF supports 12 interdisciplinary research projects that create new systemic solutions and impulses for sustainable mobility concepts of the future. It should be examined how societal change can be linked to more sustainable forms of mobility. The intention is to develop sound foundations for long-term innovation and transformation management.
The Research Agenda Sustainable Urban Mobility establishes mobility as a new thematic focus of the flagship initiative 'City of the Future'. It is the basis and the strategic framework for the promotion of research as well as the innovation policy support of the BMBF in the area of systemic urban mobility.