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.
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.