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Mobility Report 2022: Rethinking public space – for people.

Urban lifestyles and sustainable mobility are two sides of the same coin. They are probably the most important location factors for a knowledge-based society. But this requires a new understanding and new ways of planning public space. A summary of the Mobility Report 2022 as a guest article by Dr. Stefan Carsten.

Dr. Stefan Carsten. © Fotostudio Kamenar

What is “public space”?
Parks and green spaces. Obviously. Pedestrian zones, pavements. Of course. But roads are public spaces too. Up to 60% of public space is used by cars, either moving or parked. Roads are representative of industrial societies. They were built to provide industry with labour and raw materials. 60 years ago. Everything has changed since then, except for road space. The demise of the combustion engine and the advent of electric mobility (E-Volution) confirm that a knowledge-based society has arrived that focuses on people (mobility and services) rather than on the production regime of industrial players (products and logistics).

A new conception of cities and place
This also means that petrol stations, as we know them, will disappear (Energy Places). In their place will be mobility stations, fast-charging stations and cultural projects. Those who fail to act may end up as museum directors of the fossil world. Neighbourhoods will become cleaner and quieter, speeds will be automatically regulated and controlled, and micromobility services will only be used in the spaces where they are really needed (Neofencing).


Bikes for everyday usage
Almost daily, new concepts in the bike sector are being tested for everyday usage (Xycles). The emphasis is on individuality and flexibility. In the new urban infrastructure context, they are becoming a status symbol for the last mile: sustainable, healthy and safe. And electric motors mean that commuting is no longer the exclusive preserve of cars. New spaces and new connections for active mobility are therefore being created everywhere. And future growth is astonishing: experts predict sales of around 2 million cargo bikes in Europe by 2030.


Thinking beyond city boundaries
Mobility and immobility are inseparable symbioses that create new integrated spaces (Frontdoor Mobility) – not just in urban contexts and suburbs, but also in the countryside (Connecting the Countryside). More than 80% of all journeys start and end at people's own front door, and this requires much more than just a parking space in front of the door.
 More and more stakeholders are taking up these challenges and offering flexible mobility concepts in spaces that are not suitable for it in the traditional sense. Rural areas are mobilising – finally. On-demand ride-sharing is proving to be the panacea for modern public transport. Both with drivers and autonomous mobility.


Diversity as a prerequisite
The “gender mobility gap” that emerged in the 1950s still determines male and female mobility. Mobility in the 21st century still means all too often mobility by men and for men, especially in cities. But times are changing. Women are increasingly becoming the designers of integrated mobility that focuses on inclusion, sustainability and public space and does not disregard the needs of half the population. Diversity is a prerequisite for developing future-centric products and services that deliver real benefits. Focusing on female mobility models makes it clear that this change requires new ideas, especially on sharing concepts, to make everyday life easier for highly mobile women.

  • About Dr Stefan Carsten

    Dr Stefan Carsten is a futurologist and mobility researcher with passion for his subject. For more than 20 years, the urban geographer has been grappling with the future of mobility. In his work as a futurologist and mobility researcher, he advises and supports businesses, institutions and organisations – including as a member of the German Federal Ministry of Transport's expert advisory board for strategic guidelines on public transport.

  • About the Mobility Report

    The Mobility Report 2022 is aimed at people and organisations concerned with the future of mobility. It provides important impetus and recommendations for action for representatives of the mobility sector.

    The report takes an in-depth look at the Insight Automotive Reset and the key issues of E-Volution and Femobility. The analysis is underpinned by best practices as well as extensive facts and figures. The report concludes with the key trends forecast for the future of mobility.