“Move Your Hood!”Co-creative development of urban spaces as a game changer for the sustainable mobility transition

Note: On January 1st, 2021, the ongoing research projects of the Culture of Participation will be transferred to the Ruhr University Bochum.

The sustainable mobility transition in Germany is not making any progress. It requires a radical change of attitudes and mentalities as well as social practices and behavior patterns. The transformation of living environments, accompanied by burdens and changes of behavior, potentially generates resistance and conflicts. A redesign of public spaces that prioritizes low-carbon forms of mobility, minimizes motorized private transport and creates space for leisure and community activities often fails because of local status quo interests.

The joint project “Move Your Hood!” of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI Essen) and the urban research and planning institute Urbanista (Hamburg) aims at developing new ways of reducing CO2 emissions through creative impulses in open and experimental processes of dialogue-oriented participation for improving urban quality of life. In mixed neighborhoods of two German cities (Essen and Offenbach) we plan to test and evaluate innovative participation formats and pass them on to other cities. We will set up an integrated urban development process of a new type that tests high-quality, impartial and innovative bottom-up mobilization and participation processes in two urban model neighborhoods. Through an early, thematically open and inclusive participation process, the residents together with experts from science, business and civil society as well as representatives from politics and administration will design a transformation corridor for the local mobility transition. In this way, we want to develop approaches for accepted changes that are well-founded in the context of the living environment.

We plan:

  1. to test innovative methods aimed at changes in the knowledge level, attitudes and mobility behavior of residents and other user groups;
  2. to develop neighborhood-specific plans for the medium- and long-term restructuring of the urban mobility infrastructure together with residents, users and representatives of the administration; and
  3. to convince other cities to imitate suitable mobilization and participation processes. A modular transfer to other cities and municipalities is planned to take place already during the project phase.