Doppelmayr: Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility 2018 - Getting inspired by best mobility practices in European cities

Doppelmayr: Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility 2018 - Getting inspired by best mobility practices in European cities

The need for shifting towards a sustainable mobility paradigm
Urban transport plays a fundamental role in meeting the objectives of economic competitiveness, social inclusion and sustainable growth. Yet, in many countries, challenges arise around the rapid increase of private vehicles, traffic congestion and poorly functioning public transport systems. Urban dwellers, particularly the poor, are facing increasing problems in travelling to work and other amenities, are victims of accidents and are exposed to high levels of air pollution. The conventional approach to address urban transport challenges has been to build more roads and related infrastructure. A paradigm shift towards more sustainable, people-centred mobility is urgently needed.
Improved public transport, integrated with safe and attractive facilities for cycling and walking, can make the city accessible to all. In addition, innovations in transport systems such urban cable cars, shared mobility systems or electric vehicles play an ever-increasing role for urban mobility. Cities need to be introduced and guided on how to foster these innovations in their urban mobility planning, services and systems. Best practices need to be shared and widely disseminated.

Initiated by a successful private-public partnership

The Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility (AoSUM) was established by a partnership between Doppelmayr and UN-Habitat in April 2017 – showcasing the great contribution that the private sector can make towards achievements on sustainable urban development.
After a successful launch in April 2017, the second edition of the Academy took place from 23-26 April 2018 in Germany and Austria. The event was organised in a tripartite collaboration between Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, UN-Habitat as well as the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) through its Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) – and was supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI-SOLUTIONS) as well as Nextbike.

From left: Daniel Moser (TUMI), Stefanie Holzwarth (UN-Habitat), Gustavo Guttierez (participant AoSUM 2018, Mexico), Victoria Lainer (TUMI), Carmen Hobitsch (Doppelmayr) (Source: AoSUM 2018)

The objective of the Academy is to equip global decision-makers with knowledge and tools to assess the current mobility challenges and to prepare feasible strategies and actions towards more sustainable, safe, accessible, and innovative mobility in their city.
The Academy specifically aims to:
  • Orient decision-makers to develop an alternative paradigm for urban mobility in their city - that seeks to improve accessibility by introducing more efficient, inclusive, safe and innovative public transport;
  • Facilitate exchange among decision-makers on best practices around sustainable urban mobility and land use integration;
  • Foster discussions among urban practitioners, experts and system providers on innovative mobility solutions;
  • Learn how to successfully embed innovative mobility solutions in mobility planning, policies & regulation;
  • Be introduced to sustainable funding mechanisms, including the applicability of public-private partnerships;
  • Build a knowledge base and partnership platform for continuous exchange on sustainable urban mobility.
Hands-On Capacity Building on Sustainable Urban Mobility  
The second edition of the Academy took place in April 2018 in Koblenz and Frankfurt, Germany, as well as in Vienna, Austria. A total of 23 global decision-makers and representatives from local governments, transport ministries and transport operators from 16 different countries were trained.
Visit to cable car in Koblenz – a best practice example of universally accessible mobility (Source: AoSUM 2018)
Experiencing Nextbike’s share bicycle system in Frankfurt (source: AoSUM 2018)
The programme offered a dynamic combination of classroom learning and field visits. It consisted of trainings on various topics such as Sustainable Transport Visioning, Energy and Mobility, Sustainable Mobility Services and User Orientation, Low Carbon Development, Public Transport Operations, and Financing. The theoretical learning was complemented by field visits to the Cable Car in Koblenz incl. a Q&A meeting with the mayor of the city of Koblenz, a bike ride on shared bicycles in Frankfurt organized by Nextbike, a trip to Vienna’s Transport Operator Wiener Linien, and a Walking Tour through Vienna with an enthusiastic urbanist and DJ.
High priority in the training was dedicated to participatory concepts of interactive exchange. Innovative sessions on the role of political leadership in mobility projects as well as on financing facilitated learning and discussions among participants and experts.
Participants discussing on financing options for their projects (Source: AoSUM 2018)
On return of the trainees to their cities, the participants are expected to put their learning into practice with guidance and continuous exchange of the AoSUM partners.

Article by Doppelmayr
Photo Credits: Doppelmayr (CC)