Munich is a great example of how good governance in the field of urban mobility brings together various interest groups in order to achieve innovation and sustainability. For this reason, the TUMI Friends on behalf of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development together with the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) conducted a study tour on Governance for Sustainable Mobility in Munich, between 6 and 8 May 2019. Munich hosted 30 decision makers in city planning and transport from developing countries and emerging economies as well as innovators and city representatives from Germany.
The aim of the study tour was to introduce the concept of international and cross-organisational cooperation and the involvement of interest groups for sustainable mobility, especially in the areas of public transport and active mobility. The international participants met mobility and transport providers and authorities from Munich, such as the public mobility provider Munich Transport Corporation (MVG) and the Urban Planning Authority, which is responsible for urban mobility planning. The study trip to Munich offered international decision-makers from politics, business, research and civil society the opportunity to exchange findings and innovations and to transfer them to their home contexts.
The international guests mainly represented decision-makers from the public sector in the fields of urban and infrastructure planning as well as urban mobility and public transport on a national, regional and urban level, but also project managers of climate and sustainability initiatives from Albania, Bolivia, Chile, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Nigeria, the Philippines, Uganda and Ukraine.
Among the speakers at the event were experts from the City of Munich, representatives of public and private companies from the fields of consulting, development and software, as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups, most of whom are based in Munich or other German cities. The event kicked off with a welcome address by Prof. Dr. (I) Elisabeth Merk, General Manager of Urban Planning (City of Munich), and introductory lectures by the organisers VDV (represented by Gerrit Poel) and GIZ (represented by Armin Wagner; Twitter: @urbanarmin). Based on the German, Bavarian and Munich context with selected expert lectures and the individual problems of the international guests, all participants brought experiences together in the form of workshops and group discussions. These formats allowed an intensive exchange and problem-specific consultation between the speakers and international decision-makers during the two days of the event. A concluding excursion with selected public spaces and stations in downtown Munich offered international guests the opportunity, for example, to get to know the ‘Central Bus Station’ (ZOB), the ‘Münchner Freiheit’ mobility hub and the WOGENO cooperative housing estate with mobility station ‘WagnisART’ mobility station in terms of both organisational structure and design aspects.
The joint identification of locally different governance challenges concerning sustainable mobility and the analysis of typical challenges and possible obstacles formed the basis for the workshop and for a joint brainstorming for approaches and procedures to meet challenges in urban development. Expert contributions by representatives of the City of Munich, the municipal transport company MVG, Markus Schubert from Intraplan Consult GmbH and Sabine Nallinger as board member of the 2-Grad Foundation provided the framework for subsequent discussions and, in conjunction with the analysis of local challenges, inspired this workshop to develop mobility visions for the participating cities.
With the support of representatives of successful start-ups and companies from Germany, the event attached great importance to entrepreneurial challenges and technical innovations. Founders and CEOs from the IT sector, who are significantly involved in the creation and development of innovative mobility-related platforms and approaches, illustrated how start-ups and digital innovations can be used to promote sustainable mobility in fast-growing cities. Among others, Dr. Tom Kirschbaum, CEO of door2door, Raul Pinto from Startup Bikeee, Felix Proehl from BluGo, Begoña Otero, strategic consultant and intellectual property expert and Kirstin Hegner, Managing Director of Digital Hub Mobility at UnternehmerTUM gave inspiration to the audience.
The study trip was organized by the Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen e.V. (Association of German Transport Companies) together with the TUMI Friends on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Gunnar Heipp, CEO of the consulting firm Strategic+Urban+Mobility+Consulting and previously longstanding head of planning and innovation of the Munich Transport Corporation (MVG), was supporting VDV and TUMI Friends in organizing and moderating the three-day event.