Alongside the technological progress, the design of urban space is to be understood as an impulse-setting element of the mobility transformation. In the light of the ever-increasing complexity of reviewing the mobility behaviour, more diversified planning approaches for the streetscape are also necessary. How can the free space that is not dominated by moving or parked cars be designed? What role can the planning take on in order to actively push the transformation forward? The question rises as to whether changing the mobility could fill the city centres with life again.
Temporary projects like a car-free Friedrichstraße allow the manifold potential that lies in such perspectives to come to light. From 29 August 2020 until the end of October 2020, the people from Berlin and its visitors had the opportunity to rediscover Friedrichstraße as a pedestrian or cyclist undisturbed from motorised individual traffic. It was not only possible to demonstrate a novel attractiveness of the street, but beyond this it also reinforced the retail businesses and commercial enterprises.
The design agency 3deluxe saw in the future vacuum of space reallocation a unique opportunity of striking a new balance in the basic function of the streetscape with sustainable benchmarks. A previous design survey demonstrates the potential the urban space holds if the society's mobility behaviour changes in future and how the planning can contribute towards this process. An evaluation of the current situation forms the basis. It becomes clear that the majority of the road users travelling by car move at a speed of up to 50 km/h and thus also possess the spatial sovereignty. The barrier between micromobility and pedestrian traffic is only minimal which makes the usage thereof unattractive and to an extent even dangerous, 3deluxe drew up an alternative concept, which foresees a new, fairer allocation of the space.
Future scenario for Friedrichstraße
This graphic alternative concept was the basis for the expressive future scenario for Friedrichstraße in Berlin, which underlines the scope of these considerations. New freedom for the design of Friedrichstraße could be achieved based on a reduction and a practical rerouting of the motorised individual transport. The public space would no longer be disturbed by moving and stationary traffic, but could instead offer room for vibrant and future-oriented usages. The established linearity would be done away with and organic shapes could be adapted to suit the individual needs of the urban society. The so-called organic mobility, i.e. the micromobility of up to 20 km/h interweaves with slow lanes which pedestrians can stroll along. Intermediate zones enable a parallelism between pedestrian and cyclist traffic and mark the respective transitions. Shuttle buses travelling at speeds of up to 30 km/h transport road users on own lanes, which can partly also be used by cyclists and pedestrians. The joint mobility behaviour is characterised by attentiveness and consideration.
However, the differentiated system not only defines a climate-friendly mobility, the arising gaps also enhance the urban quality. These enable freedom of design and are in future to enrich public life in the city. Food service establishments would have the opportunity to utilise the road space on Friedrichstraße too; new organically shaped green and sports areas would enable leisure and recreation activities in the urban space. Cultural events could take place weather permitting and enliven the space artistically. A totally new image of Friedrichstraße arises, which invites the visitors to discover as well as a vision of a sustainable and future-oriented mobility, which could establish itself in their everyday routines.