Their YES! topic
by Anke Borcherding, Julia Epp, Juliane Haus und Andreas Knie, WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Transportation has been back on the agenda of day-to-day politics for some years now. There is even talk of a “traffic turnaround”. More and more people are becoming aware that with over 47 million registered passenger cars, the limits of capacity have been reached. But what are the alternatives beyond the personal car?
For many years, the formula applied that access and social advancement were closely linked to the availability of ever more extensive and more powerful vehicles. Yet this state of affairs is the result of politics. Roads had to be built, legal systems had to be created, a building and spatial design had to be adapted to ensure priority in road traffic, and financing and tax models had to be established to popularise the car. The unhindered driving and parking of personal vehicles, whether in the countryside or the city, was thus by no means the result of a political process but was deliberately and actively created.
But is that still the case today? Do we still regard the car as an essential part of our family world, closely connected to our own house and garden? Or is our own car a symbol for a dream of a successful life that has long since been forgotten?
First of all, it must be stated: Even if the love for the automobile has cooled off or even died out, for the majority of the (older) population it is hard to imagine a life without their own car. But how do young people think about this? What would the world or city or country look like without cars? Will there only be automated buses running every minute? Do we walk more? Is the bicycle the main means of transport? Or can we imagine something completely different, completely new?
What role can digitisation play in this?
Which mobility concepts are available?
Which means of transport are in use?
What are the different challenges for the city and the countryside?
What do the city and the country, streets, squares etc. look like without personal cars?
How do pupils, for example, move around?
How can this new mobility be visualised without a car?