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Mobility Hubs

Mobility in Neighborhood Development

30. April 2021

With regard to the mobility transition, the question of the corresponding organization arises in addition to the technical implementation. How can a sustainable and multimodal transport system be coordinated both at the higher planning level and at the practical and everyday level? Mobility hubs, which are being considered in the context of new district developments in particular, can be the forward-looking answer here.

Mobitlity hub

Must prove itself in everyday life - the mobility application. Photo: sl-f

Mobility in neighborhood development

In the context of newly developing neighborhoods, the integrative handling of mobility is a complex challenge that holds fascinating potential. A usually large-scale area is being redesigned from the ground up, offering flexible scope for setting the course of mobility in the direction of the future. But even if forward-looking guidelines were followed in the planning process, it still remains to be seen whether future stakeholders will accept them and integrate them into their everyday lives. Mobility hubs act as trailblazers from a car-friendly to a people-friendly city.

Mobility hubs

As central bundling points, mobility hubs form the origin and destination points of multi- and intermodal locomotion. In concrete terms, this means the provision of car-sharing services, public transport connections, bicycle parking spaces, electric charging stations, etc. There are no limits to the creative possibilities for realizing sustainable mobility. The efficient combination of these options, the core idea of mobility hubs, facilitates the flexible switch to alternative means of transportation.

Social added value

However, the function of a Mobility Hub goes beyond the purely organizational level. As a place of encounter and a neighborhood meeting point, the high frequency of use due to mobility is also reflected in the publicity of the place itself. Thus, urban development framework plans and the architectural implementation of the hubs are mostly characterized by explicit quality of stay and social appropriation. Hubs are often designed in the spatial context of a social, cultural, religious, or other center and associated open space to give the place an inclusive character. In the context of such a meeting place, it is natural to address the issue of mobility and translate the building's focus on sustainable transportation options into a stimulating discourse. The function of the hubs encourages people to question their own behavior and to discuss it with their neighbors with regard to sustainable efforts.

The example of the “Lindgens Areal” in Cologne-Mülheim illustrates the quality of a holistic neighborhood development that attaches importance to sustainable mobility and ecological energy supply. In cooperation with RheinEnergie, Lindgens & Söhne GmbH & Co. as owner is realizing a pioneering project for the future on a historic industrial site. In the future, the new quarter at the Mülheim harbor will provide space for residential and commercial uses in both existing and new buildings. In order to optimally integrate the area into the Cologne transport network, special attention was paid to the precise formulation of a mobility concept. Electric charging stations in the underground garages of the residential complexes and a uniform billing service via Chargecloud facilitate the switch from the combustion engine to the electric car. A new rail line directly links the area with its surroundings. A high-quality network of bike paths and additional parking spaces establish the bicycle as a means of transportation in the everyday lives of future users. It is planned to place mobility hubs as anchors of traffic flows in the “Lindgens Areal”. There, close cooperation with car-sharing providers and Cologne's public transport operators will enable car- and bike-sharing services and a smooth transition from one mode of transport to the next.

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