FutureLab Mobility Forum IV: Mobility Revolution Hamburg 2020-2030

How will the mobility revolution have changed Hamburg by 2030? How will urban mobility, logistics, and the city look in 2030? And what are the conditions that are crucial for this today? On March 25th around 240 registered participants joined experts from Hamburg’s political, business, and research communities to exchange ideas on this topic. The organizers behind the hybrid event were Kühne Logistics University and the Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (German Traffic Journal).

What will mobility in Hamburg look like in 2030? Moderated by DVZ deputy editor-in-chief Robert Kümmerlen and KLU president Prof. Thomas Strothotte, FutureLab Mobility IV kicked off with presentations on their perspectives for the city of the future held by the senator for mobility revolution, Anjes Tjarks, Hochbahn CEO Henrik Falk, and Jörg Knieling, professor for urban development at HafenCity University, Hamburg. “Digitization offers us considerable opportunities,” remarked Senator Tjarks. “The city will be much more people-friendly by 2030, and we will have achieved our climate objectives. Hopefully by then Hamburg will have also managed to demonstrate the appeal of freight transport by rail to other German states.”

Optimistic Outlook: Fewer Cars, More Public Transport

Henrik Falk, head of Hamburg’s public transportation service, the Hamburger Hochbahn, was similarly optimistic about the year 2030. “By then, an unprecedented mobility system will have emerged. The number of private cars could be reduced by up to 50 percent because the demand for them within the private sector will simply no longer be there.” In 2030, there would no longer be a timetable for Hamburg’s public transportation system. Whenever a passenger accesses a station, there will be corresponding services available at very short intervals. This will also include sharing and on-demand service options.

“2030 is not far off for many issues,” emphasized Jörg Knieling, a professor at HafenCity University. “Hamburg’s population will have stopped growing by then. Therefore, we must ensure that Hamburg continues to be a competitive player internationally among other cities and remains an attractive place for skilled workers. The important factors here are education, culture, the environment––and sustainable mobility, and not our five-lane Autobahn,” stressed the expert for urban development.

Urban Upgrade: Space Distribution and the Last Mile

To achieve this outlined change, the unanimous opinion was that space distribution in the city and the organization of CEP traffic (courier, express and parcel service providers) on the last mile were crucial building blocks. “In ten years, there will be no more newly built parking garages in the city center,” Falk said. To that end, he said, the subway will also be used to transport goods, which will allow us to combine passenger transportation and goods delivery. “Data traffic will also be part of the solution here,” Falk said. “But most of all, logistics professionals need to come together in rethinking and finding ways forward.”

According to Knieling, Hamburg will be a “15-minute city” by 2030. “People will be able to reach all the places relevant to them within a 15-minute radius. This will make the city more attractive and at the same time reduce traffic,” he explained. The city center can only win in the long run if it becomes both largely car-free and a high-quality place to live.

 “The city center will never be the same again,” Senator Tjarks agreed. “We need more people living in city centers so that these places retain their vibrancy.” For urban logistics, this means developing “new concepts to organize the removal of goods and ensure that space is fairly distributed.”

Team Effort  

How do other representatives of the city see these challenges? Video clips of the following experts added to the discussion: Hjalmar Stemmann, President of the Hamburg Chamber of Trades; Carmen Schmidt, Managing Director of the Hamburg Logistics Initiative; and Kerstin Wendt-Heinrich, Chair of the Logistics, Port and Shipping Committee at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. The general message was that the planned mobility revolution must not be taken on piecemeal. All parties concerned from politics and business, and from within society must band together in achieving the smart city of the future, particularly when it comes to rethinking logistics.
“It’s wonderful to see how everyone is willing to join up and get involved in shaping [the future],” expressed Senator Tjarks. The important thing now is to maintain and intensify the dialogue. “What we need now is an administration that is open for allowing new things to develop,” added Hochbahn boss Falk. “Hamburg is in a good position, but we also need to create further structures in order to set up, simulate, and evaluate model projects.”  

FutureLab Mobility Forum V

The fifth installment of the FutureLab Mobility Forum will take place on September 30, 2021. This session will conclude the five-part series on key issues in the future of urban mobility and logistics, leading up to the ITS World Congress to be held in Hamburg in October 2021.

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