International Congress 2014

Cities for Mobility 2014 © Christian Hass

International Congress 2014

The 7th International Congress of Cities for Mobility took place from June 1st to 3rd in Stuttgart under the title “Rethinking and Implenting mobility” gathering more than 200 mobility experts, decision makers, entrepreneurs and representatives from civil society around the world. The event was opened by the Mayor of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn who underlined the importance of citizen involvement in designing and implementing effective transport policies. During his speech he gave an overview of his Action Plan for Sustainable Mobility (Nachhaltig mobil in Stuttgart) which aims at reducing congestion and enhancing intermodality as well as promoting the use of non motorized transport in the city.

Rethinking and implenting mobility

The program focused on the importance of connecting mobility and city planning for a better quality of life in cities. The congress included a dynamic and interactive mixture of expert presentations, panel discussions, poster presentations, workshops and field visits designed to showcase international good practice in sustainable mobility and engage the participants in an active discussion on diverse relevant issues.

Speakers from Denmark, Colombia, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Argentina and Australia showcased examples of cities that have prioritized creating healthy and sustainable urban environments and implemented mobility systems designed to maximize the use of urban space and enable people to choose active forms of mobility. Cross-cutting issues addressed in the presentations included role of technical innovation, values, culture, and behavior change.

Participants were able to interact with the speakers during two panel discussions. Political will was discussed by the panellists as a key enabler. The conscious involvement of a broad range of citizens and citizen groups in discussions about a city’s mobility plans can be a highly effective way of generating both public support and ideas. The panellists also agreed that sustainable urban mobility systems must be intuitive and easy for people to use, such as having one ticket or card for all modes and ensuring smooth transitions between modes.

The congress workshops addressed three issues that are key for new thinking, acting and planning on urban mobility: Avoid, Shift and Improve. The workshop Avoid presented practical approaches on how to avoid transport before it is generated and included presentations such as transport and settlement structures, car-free city centre (Vitoria Gastreiz, Spain), car-free living (Vienna, Austria) and urban planning for e-mobility and sharing. In the workshop Shift, participants explored diverse strategies to facilitate a shift from personal vehicles to shared mobility through group discussions and practical collaboration aimed at exploring the various strategies that can be replicated in other cities and identifying the obstacles in implementing strategies.

In the workshop Improve, participants discussed network wide improvements that can be made, which go beyond technology. Questions addressed included how can we use our transport networks more efficiently and what does transformational transport look like? A training was hosted by GIZ (Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) about providing priority for sustainable urban transport modes – successful planning examples and tools regarding pedestrian mobility, integrated cycling networks; public transport.

Congress participants were able to see and experience practical examples of the issues during the congress as part of visits and tours, including an insight into an environmentally-friendly car-sharing system, a walking tour of Stuttgart, and an intermodal city tour.

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