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Ideas for sustainable mobility of the future

Future generations should have the same opportunities of living fulfilled lives as we do – that is why we have to apply the principles of sustainability to the fields of transport and mobility. The bicycle is a popular and environment-friendly means of mobility and transport all over the world and also an engine for economic and cultural growth.

There is increasing evidence that the mobility sector is contributing significantly to the consumption of resources and the emission of carbon dioxide. How can we guarantee the necessary mobility and a global supply of goods without creating an amount of traffic that will overburden people and their environment in the long run? This is a central issue in the debate about sustainable mobility.

One positive example is the expansion of some already existing sectors, like car-sharing, for instance. New concepts and start-ups, such as the American ‘ride-sharing’ company ‘Uber’ are integrated into the market of public transport and have become very popular. New technologies for electric and hybrid cars are encouraged and seem to become long-term fixtures in the transport sector of various countries. And the bicycle is a popular and environment-friendly means of mobility and transport all over the world.

Webinar ‘Sustainable transport & mobility’

What are the current structures and trends in the field of mobility? Which measures could potentially promote environment-friendly mobility? Where and how are they being implemented successfully? These and more questions were addressed during the webinar ‘Sustainable transport & mobility’ and discussed on the basis of international examples.

The webinar provides an opportunity to examine one’s own mobility behaviour and to learn about innovative solutions for sustainable mobility. Watch the video recording of the entire webinar (in English), to be found in the group ‘Zukunftsthema Nachhaltigkeit / Sustainability’!

Sustainable mobility: The trend for bicycles in Europe

Creative ideas and a return to the tried and trusted bear witness to the fact that sustainable mobility has become an approved life-style, particularly in the industrial nations.

Whether we are talking about fixies, vintage racing bikes, e-bikes or Dutch bicycles – cycling is celebrating a big comeback in Europe. And rightly so, because cycling is healthy and protects the environment. Also, the costs of buying and keeping up a bike are much lower than for a car. And in many big cities, there are now public bike-hire systems.

That is why especially in urban regions, the bicycle is the vehicle of the hour. Special cargo bikes for transporting heavy loads or for families with children have become a veritable trend.

Deutsche Welle: Bicycles as Design Icons

The bicycle as an engine for economic and cultural growth

Mobility is an important prerequisite for a country’s economic and social development. An insufficient infrastructure of roads or lacking access to (public) transport therefore pose an obstacle for the development of education and health services. Campaigns like ‘World Bicycle Relief’ have taken on the challenge of providing bicycles as flexible and affordable means of transport in developing countries.

The association ‘Fahrräder für Afrika’ (Bicycles for Africa) has a vision of “mobilising people with the help of bicycles, and of providing them with a way out of poverty and towards a better life”. That is why the association is investing in the establishment of local bicycle repair shops and in training locals to become bicycle mechanics.

The objective is to establish the bicycle as a low-priced, environment-friendly and healthy means of transport. This does not only work in rural areas – in the face of a looming traffic gridlock, bicycles are gaining more and more significance in large cities and megacities. In Bangladesh, bikes are currently evolving from the vehicle of the poor to the trendy transport of the middle classes.

World Bicycle Relief – Mobilize Me

Photo competition ‘Mobility around the globe’

In November 2015, the Alumniportal Deutschland organised a photo competition under the title: ‘Mobility around the globe – How people and goods travel from A to B’. Twelve photos were selected for the Alumniportal photo-calendar 2016.

The image sent in by Carlos Cunha from Brazil shows an interesting approach to sustainable mobility, and it was selected as the calendar’s title image: His photo focuses on the creativity that is necessary in Brazil in order to convey people and goods efficiently from A to B.

  • ‘Thaysa’ – Natal / Brazil – Carlos ‘Caique’ Cunha from Brazil

    ‘Thaysa’ – Natal / Brazil – Carlos ‘Caique’ Cunha from Brazil

    Brazil is a continental country. Lots of people travel from A to B every day. Mobility sometimes requires creativity. This photo was taken in the Northeast of Brazil, in a small district called Genipabu.

  • ‘Life on Move’ – Ganges Delta/ Bengal – Mofizur Rahman from Bangladesh

    ‘Life on Move’ – Ganges Delta/ Bengal – Mofizur Rahman from Bangladesh

  • ‘When Bike fails to ignite’ – Eldoret/ Kenya – Silas Tarus from Kenya

    ‘When Bike fails to ignite’ – Eldoret/ Kenya – Silas Tarus from Kenya

    This photo was taken in the town of Eldoret, Kenya, in November 2015. After loading his goods onto the bike, the rider had trouble starting it. He called for assistance from passers-by and asked them to push the machine so that he could start it by suddenly releasing the clutch.. 

  • ‘Camels on Tour’ – Oman – Daniela M. Paffenholz from Germany

    ‘Camels on Tour’ – Oman – Daniela M. Paffenholz from Germany 

  • ‘Fishermen versus Capitalism’ – Surabaya / Indonesia – Muhammad Riza Nurdin from Indonesia

    ‘Fishermen versus Capitalism’ – Surabaya / Indonesia – Muhammad Riza Nurdin from Indonesia

    This picture was taken at a fishermen’s village in Surabaya, East Java. The Suramadu bridge shown in the picture was built to connect goods and people from Madura Island with Surabaya city, but the objective seems to have failed. Many fishermen still live below the poverty line, which raises questions about the impact of spending millions on this single project.  

  • ‘La Moto-Mesa (The moto-table)’ – Barrancabermeja/Colombia – Humberto Duque from Colombia

    ‘La Moto-Mesa (The moto-table)’ – Barrancabermeja/Colombia – Humberto Duque from Colombia

    In Colombia, the railways have been more or less abandoned since 1960. The relinquished tracks are used by the people of the Barrancabermeja region to travel from one place to another by Moto-Mesa. 

  • ‘Everyone is smart all around’ – Venice/ Italy – Suyash Nagayach from India

    ‘Everyone is smart all around’ – Venice/ Italy – Suyash Nagayach from India

    The photo was taken on a Gondola ride in Venice, Italy. It goes without saying that there was simply no dearth of style all around (even on the water). 

  • ‘Durch die Wüste (Through the desert)’ – Morocco – Rafael Goldzweig from Brazil

    ‘Durch die Wüste (Through the desert)’ – Morocco – Rafael Goldzweig from Brazil 

  • ‘Muthaluthavi Vandi (Ambulance)’ – Namakkal / India – S.T. Karthick Raj from India

    ‘Muthaluthavi Vandi (Ambulance)’ – Namakkal / India – S.T. Karthick Raj from India

    An innovative ambulance vehicle being used in the village of Kandipalayam. This is a combination of a moped and a wooden rope-cot, with cycle wheels attached. The cot with the wheels acts as a stretcher, which helps to transport the diseased and the old. 

  • ‘Uros Islands – Rowing to the local market’ – Puno / Peru – Mario de La Torre Estremadoyro from Peru

    ‘Uros Islands – Rowing to the local market’ – Puno / Peru – Mario de La Torre Estremadoyro from Peru

    For visitors to Lake Titicaca, a boat trip to the floating islands, a unique tourist destination, is a must. These islands are made and re-made from the totora reeds which provide home, sustenance and transportation for their residents. These two ladies are rowing their totora boats to the island market. 

  • ‘Rush Hour’ – Taipei / Taiwan – Hoang Nguyen from Vietnam

    ‘Rush Hour’ – Taipei / Taiwan – Hoang Nguyen from Vietnam

    I took this photo from a walkway bridge over a crossing between the International Convention Center and ‘101 Tower’ in Taipei. It shows a police officer handling heavy traffic during the afternoon rush hour. 

  • ‘The Hejaz Railway – Red Sea to Wadi Rum’ – Wadi Rum/ Jordan – Manal Fakhouri from Jordan

    ‘The Hejaz Railway – Red Sea to Wadi Rum’ – Wadi Rum/ Jordan – Manal Fakhouri from Jordan

January 2016

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