Enabling Change: The German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility

European regulations and national ordinances implementing them (e.g. on air pollution control) impose changes which often have a major effect on mobility and transport development. Total investment for the project “Central MeetBike – sustainable transport in Central European Cities through Improved integrated bicycle promotion and international networking” is EUR 2 762 572, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 271 743 from the Operational Programme “CENTRAL EUROPE” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The Sub-Head of the Urban Planning Department, Mobility Strategies talks about the SUMP of Vienna with special focus on health objectives, governance and stakeholder involvement. The first Bicycle Policy Audit has been conducted in Dresden as part of the Central MeetBike project.

This includes analysing problems and shortcomings in the Dresden transport system, identifying aims and priorities for future transport policies, setting out development scenarios and, in some cases, making them into strategies for action. For this reason, in Dresden – as in other cities which compile Transport Development Plans – transport providers, related authorities, associations, unions, institutions, chambers, city council groups, the scientific community, regional authorities and representatives of other interests have been called upon to play an active part in creating the 2025plus TDP.

Ambassadors & their SUMP

Moosajee highlighted the potential of international cooperation through the GPSM and also outlined the possible obstacles. The need for sustainable mobility solutions in developing and emerging countries is obvious.

Smart and Healthy Municipal Public Transport

UITP has a long history to its name, and is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. Central Meetbike is encouraging the development of sustainable transport policies in Central European countries by supporting the establishment of integrated cycling strategies.

The Central Meetbike approach was promoted at its ‘Bike Academy’ training programme to raise awareness among professionals and ensure that people living in a city take part in the action plan. The academy adapted materials used by a programme run by the Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik, with the help of the Technical University Dresden.

Freight transport has become focused on containerization, although bulk transport is used for large volumes of durable items. Transport plays an important part in economic growth and globalization, but most types cause air pollution and use large amounts of land. While it is heavily subsidized by governments, good planning of transport is essential to make traffic flow and restrain urban sprawl. BYPAD is a certified process to reflect the quality level of the cycling policy in a town through differentiation in nine different modules. Based on the resulting quality score a bicycle action plan is prepared to serve as a guideline for further cycling policy.

The Deputy Mayor of the City of Paris talks about the sustainable urban mobility policy of his city. 16% of all trips are made by bike in Dresden, which is the double the share cycling had 10 years ago. To further increase the use of bicycles in transport, the city is working on a number of local and European projects, incl. Central MeetBike. Paris’ Deputy Mayor Christophe Najdovski talks about the sustainable urban mobility policy of his city.

  • Passenger transport may be public, where operators provide scheduled services, or private.
  • As member of the “Scientific Advisory Council” of the Federal Transport Minister in Germany he was also actively involved in German transport politics.
  • National and European laws and directives set out the fundamental conditions for transport development planning.


International support cannot be haphazardly deployed; for partnerships to succeed, a cooperative platform with comprehensive concepts and tools is essential. Lecture by Gerd-Axel Ahrens, professor at Dresden University. A slide behind him suggests that in the future, it is important to ensure that economic growth does not lead to a proportional increase in the volume of transportation, and this is one of the most difficult challenges. The cycling portal is funded from resources for the implementation of the National Cycling Plan. CIVITAS PROSPERITY has released new interviews with SUMP ambassadors who describe the measures they have developed to implement exemplary sustainable urban management plans.

The TDP should not be created in relation to transport planning alone. In view of the circumstances and challenges described above, it is vitally important to draw upon a wide range of specialist and expert knowledge from various professional and social fields, in addition to building on well-informed project co-ordination, with a propensity to compromise.

The local cycling strategy was evaluated by a consortium including political stakeholders, bicycle lobby groups and city municipality in two meetings between November 2011 and February 2012. CIVITAS PROSPERITY has released new interviews with SUMP ambassadors who describe the measures they have developed to implement exemplary sustainable urban management plans. The SUMP ambassadors each bring a unique perspective to the subject. (Ahrens, 2014 ). Therefore, CO 2 emissions of the two test vehicles for a representative trip performed by urban citizens in Germany were estimated on the basis of the WLTC phase results.

Interview with Prof. Gerd-Axel Ahrens, of TU Dresden and member of the Advisory Board of the MoTiV Project.

Cycling is increasingly seen as a solution to traffic congestion and pollution in urban areas, particularly for short journeys and in conjunction with public transport. The Central Meetbike project sought to spread the effective cycling support policies in Germany to the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The project helped regions assess their local situations and alter policies accordingly. Rising aspirations of citizens worldwide, changing consumption and production patterns as well as limited natural resources are drivers for innovation in the transport sector. The German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility (GPSM) is serving as a guide for sustainable mobility and green logistics solutions and knowledge from Germany.

Rehana Moosajee gave the keynote speech; as a former mayoral committee member for transport in Johannesburg, South Africa, she focused on experiences and challenges from emerging countries and the role of international cooperation in sustainable mobility. It is important to understand that a car not only generates emissions, but also produces dust and occupy the space, so it is important not only to replace the type of fuel but also to reduce the number of cars in urban mobility. Polona Demšar Mitrović is from the Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure and talks about the planning and implementation of developing an updated SUMP supporting programme – a measure that is currently underway. The project achieved this aim by changing attitudes about transport planning and informing politicians and officials about new strategies, particularly those used in Germany to promote cycling. It demonstrated that taking a comprehensive spatial approach, which allows safe movement of all modes of transport, is feasible and cost effective.

As a platform for exchanging knowledge, expertise and experiences, GPSM supports the transformation towards sustainability in mobility and logistics in developing and emerging countries. It is a network of academia, business, civil society and associations.

gerd-axel ahrens


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- December 20, 2015

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