Measuring sustainable mobility

How bike friendly is my city? How good is the public transportation system? What about the noise pollution for residents? Developed as part of the Interreg project SuMo-Rhine, a new Website addresses these questions and more. It provides information about many aspects of sustainable mobility in 36 municipalities in the Upper Rhine region.

Researchers from the Interreg project “SuMo-Rhine” define sustainable mobility as something that does as little damage as possible to the environment, is affordable, meets social requirements, for example, is barrier-free, and is economically viable. “We refer to the United Nations’ definition of sustainability, which integrates a social and an economic dimension into the term in addition to the ecological dimension,” says Nora Baumgartner, project coordinator of SuMo-Rhine at the French-German Institute for Environmental Research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Since mid-2018, researchers from the German and French Eucor universities have been working together with the University of Koblenz-Landau, the city of Lörrach, and the ENSAS School of Architecture from Strasbourg on the question of how sustainable mobility can be measured and evaluated and how municipalities can draw conclusions for a more sustainable mobility approach. “Cooperation with partners from the field was a central building block in our Interreg project. We regularly asked where the needs are and what is both relevant and feasible in practice,” explains Nora Baumgartner.

One of the results of the project, which is now coming to an end, is the website KINaMO, which stands for Kommunales Informationssystem für nachhaltige Mobilität (Municipal Information System for Sustainable Mobility). KINaMO enables those responsible in cities and municipalities, but also all citizens, to find out about local sustainable mobility options and also to evaluate it by comparing it with other municipalities. Based on a comprehensive system of indicators, various aspects such as pedestrian-friendliness, emissions or land consumption of the municipalities are presented. The system also allows for a cross-border comparison.

“You can select a city and query individual indicators, each of which is broken down into key figures.” For example, the “public transportation” indicator is made up of the number of stops and the operating time, as well as five other key figures. In this way, it is possible to obtain information about the local mobility system and at the same time compare it with others from the region.”

The developed indicator system was not developed solely for the Website. Nora Baumgartner explains how it was also applied in the project to concrete planned measures: “We chose the cross-border extension of tramway line number 3 from Basel to St. Louis as a case study. With the help of municipal mobility concepts, our work should also reach people in a very concrete way in the long run.”

Click here to go to the website KINaMO.

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