rethinking public space


Liberation of the cities: the same (car) mobility with only 3% of vehicles?

Flotten selbstfahrender Fahrzeuge revolutionieren die urbane (Auto-)Mobilität
Fleets of self-driving vehicles are revolutionizing urban “auto-mobility”

The self-driving car is within reach. However, if you are thinking of a car without a steering wheel, you are thinking too narrowly. Since "car" sounds so old-fashioned, we prefer to use the term "Mobi-capsules" in IUM. Imagine a fleet of 10,000 or even 40,000 glass, spherical-shaped vehicles in a big city, available anywhere, anytime. Mobi-capsules are requested at the push of a button with an app, park automatically and drive fully electrically. They are a combination of a private car, taxi, car sharing, ride sharing and low-capacity buses.

Not only because of the acquisition costs, but also because of the availability wherever you are, in 10 to 20 years nobody will have an interest in having their own private Mobi-capsule. Just like no one would think of buying their own chairlift gondola while skiing. The operators of the Mobi- capsule fleets will have a great interest in maximizing their use, offering as much mobility as possible with as few vehicles as possible.

If a Mobi-capsule drives around eight hours a day and takes on average two persons, then this corresponds to the same mobility as today's private cars reach in Berlin, with only 3% of the vehicles. This means that 29 out of 30 car parking spaces and about half of today's street space used for passenger cars would be free for attractive urban uses. Together with the agency xoio, which makes many projects for the car industry, we have developed "mobuno" as a visionary prototype of the Mobi-capsule. Download concept

Much more beautiful parking options - a better city for everyone

Drittes Untergeschoss der Mall of Berlin an einem Freitagabend
Third basement of the Mall of Berlin on a Friday night

Parking on the roadside is not nice. Unused parking spaces are a waste of space and then the car is unprotected on the roadside. Scratches and lime blossoms stains are the result, especially when it lingers for a long time. And then there is the annoying and time consuming parking search. However, Berlin’s ample free parking spaces, more than 90% of the public space, is welcomed by many Berliners. Yet, converting most roads into huge parking lots is not the most productive way to utilize public spaces.

Fortunately, Berlin does not suffer from lack of space and IUM has set itself the task of making unused parking spaces visible, as many parking garages in Berlin are underutilized. An elevator ride to the third basement of the Mall of Berlin reveals a complete parking level absolutely empty. The second level is also pretty empty. The mall, however, is full, on a Friday evening at 18:00 a clock. In Neukölln opposite the public swimming pool, one sees the same situation. Its parking garage has over 100 empty parking spaces. Of course no one likes to pay two euros a day, if it is free in the street next door. This naturally results in massive parking pressure, creating traffic chaos and much aggressiveness in the surrounding streets. A look inside the many parking lots of discount supermarket chains at night reveals that everything is free. Berlin does not have parking space problem, but rather a parking problem.

Intelligent co-operation models between city districts and private car park operators could, according to IUM estimates, unlock more than 80,000 unused long-term parking spaces in parking garages. There your own car is safe and covered and you will immediately find a place. At the same time, a lot of urban space would be free for more attractive uses. At night, when residents search for a parking space, an estimated additional 50,000 parking spaces are empty in front of one of the 1,000 or so Berlin discount stores, which are ideal for overnight parking. This would again improve the situation for roadside short-term parkers who just want to get a coffee-to-go, buy bread, or do a little shopping for an hour, because there would always be free parking in front of the shops. Through intelligent cooperation, a win-win effect is possible for all concerned, provided the political will exists. Download concept

We love Best Practice: Urban Mobility offers a variety of good international examples

Wie werden wir den öffentlichen Raum in Zukunft sinnvoll nutzen?
How will we use public space in a liveable and meaningful way in the future?

Die urbane Mobilität steht weltweit vor einem durchgreifenden Wandel. Städte stehen vor der Transformation des öffentlichen Raums, von den Modellen der autogerechten Stadt der 1960er und 1970er Jahre hin zu attraktiven, urbanen Lebensräumen für immer mehr Menschen, die inzwischen wieder das Modell der Stadt der kurzen Wege bevorzugen und in die Innenstädte ziehen. Selbst Vorreiterstädte wie Kopenhagen, Amsterdam, Bologna oder Münster, die bereits vor 20 bis 30 Jahren eine entsprechende Richtungsentscheidung getroffen haben, stehen - wenn man die gesamte Stadtfläche betrachtet - in der Umsetzung immer noch relativ am Anfang der Transformation.

Auch in diesen Städten entsprechen etwa 70% bis 80% der existierenden Straßeninfrastruktur noch den Prinzipien der autogerechten Stadt. Allerdings gibt es inzwischen immer mehr gebaute und evaluierte Beispiele für den nach neuen Prinzipien gestalteten urbanen Raum, so dass in den nächsten Jahren mit einer deutlich breiteren Umsetzung zu rechnen ist. Trotzdem gibt es immer mehr gute Beispiele, von denen wir lernen können.

Viele Städte haben noch keine klare Richtungsentscheidung getroffen. Berlin versucht seit Jahren den Spagat zwischen Auto- und Fahrradstadt, der zu immer mehr Konflikten und aggressivem Verhalten der Verkehrsteilnehmer und einen Verlust an Lebensqualität führt. Der wachsende politische Druck wird in den nächsten Jahren auch bei den noch unentschlossenen Städten zu einem echten, breit sichtbaren Wandel führen. Berlin hat mit der Wahl im September 2016 angesichts deutlich gestiegener Unfallzahlen mit vielen getöteten und schwer verletzten Fußgängern und Radfahrern die politischen Weichen für eine Verkehrswende gestellt.