International Congress 2016

Cities for Mobility 2016 © Christian Hass

International Congress 2016

The 8th International Cities for Mobility Congress titled "Mobility in the sustainable city: What do we need to do now?" took place on 19-21 June 2016 at Stuttgart City Hall gathering 300 municipal practitioners, decision makers, researchers and initiatives from civil society and private sector from more than 35 countries world-wide. The event combined presentations, interactive workshops and practical activities, such as trainings and excursions.

Mobility in the sustainable city: What do we need to do now?

The 2016 edition focused on the linkage between mobility and urban planning when it comes to design and put into practice sustainable transport and active travel in cities. It also dealt with the question of how municipalities can combine long term planning (e.g. in infrastructure) with smaller and cheaper measures that are innovative, visible and easier to implement in urban space in the short term. The first day keynotes were made by the Mayor of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn, the Deputy Mayor of Vienna, Maria Vassilkaou and the Deputy Mayor of Utrecht, Lot van Hooijdonk. Marten Sims from Happy City Lab held an inspiring speech at the evening event at the Planetarium Stuttgart about the importance of street design and social interaction for happiness of citizen. In addition, several initiatives from civil society and research (such as the Realworld Laboratory for Sustainable Mobility in Stuttgart) came together at the Cities for Mobility congress in Stuttgart to bring in their ideas to support a change of mobility culture through awareness campaigns and pilots in public space. Some of these ideas were presented in the workshops and at the exhibition area at Stuttgart City Hall.

One of the highlights at the Cities for Mobility Congress 2016 was a cargo bike road show with the motto “Less work – more fun” / “Mehr Lust als Last” that was offered for participants, citizens and interested stakeholders from business, on 20 June on the market square at Stuttgart City Hall. On the second congress day Marten Sims moderated an interactive workshop dealing with the benefits of active travel for health, local business and social interaction. Participants had the chance to design in working groups their ideas of social spaces and sustainable mobility. Marten Sims presented research studies from the Netherlands, Canada and other countries which showed that cyclists and pedestrians experience more joy, less fear rage and sadness. And researchers also found out that most of us experience our greatest moments of joy when interacting with other people.

In the five thematic workshops several topics addressed in the keynotes were emphasized, such as the successful connection of mobility and urban planning, easy and innovative examples of recovering space for citizen interaction and sustainable modes of transport, mobility culture and the role of civil society and private sector. The presentations covered experiences from Argentina, Uruguay, India, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands among others. The GIZ training organized on 21 June gave transport practitioners detailed information and some key recommendations on urban planning policies and the most successful measures for brining sustainable mobility into daily life of people in cities.

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