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Bright mobility management

Promoting environmentally friendly transport and reducing car traffic - and thus CO2 emissions - within the city
Munich / Germany
Size of city: 
1 544 041 inhabitants


Johanna Balthesen
City of Munich, Department of Public Order, Road Traffic, Transport and Mobility Management
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This mobility management programme, led by the City of Munich (DE), aims to support citizens, guests and businesses in their individual mobility planning. Entitled "Munich - Gscheid Mobil", the focus is on promoting environmentally friendly transport and reducing car traffic (and thus CO2 emissions) within the city. "Gscheid" is a Bavarian-Austrian term for both "quality" and "intelligence".
Since 2006 many projects addressing different target groups (e.g. children and youth, families, seniors, businesses, migrants and new citizens) have been launched under the Gscheid Mobil brand. The programme is based on the idea that people experiencing life-changing events - such as the birth of a baby, a move to another city, retirement - are more open to change. Its powerful message is that Munich has a sound mobility service and that using it brings individual benefits. Gscheid Mobil projects are always multimodal and go far beyond pure information: they include consultation, motivation and education.

The solutions offered by the good practice

Gscheid Mobil supports citizens, guests and businesses in their individual mobility planning to reduce car traffic in the city. The aim is to reach as many people as possible. Consequently, a variety of projects aiming at different target groups has been launched during the past 10 years, constantly tested, evaluated and improved. The idea behind it is that well-informed citizens are more likely to use alternative and environmentally friendly mobility options (e.g. car sharing instead of an own car).
To give an example: For children and youth the City of Munich developed the concept of a “biography of mobility” comprising projects for the age groups 3-6, 6-10 and 10-16. The project BAMBINI is dedicated to kindergartners (age 3-6) and focuses on improving the children's social and moving skills. At primary school the project WALKING BUS accompanies school children on their way to school.
The play LET'S GO! for children aged 10 and above raises their awareness for sustainable mobility and climate protection in an exciting and humorous way while the projects ON THE BIKES - READY - GO! (age 10) and SCHOOL RALLY (age 11-12) aim at training children's competences for safe cycling. Here the pupils learn all about a roadworthy bicycle and how they can carry out small repairs independently. For secondary schools there are the projects FAIR MOVE (age 11-12) and ON MY WAY (age 13-14) in which children deal with the different aspects of sustainable mobility.

Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

The mobility management programme Gscheid Mobil builds on a sustainable and integrated urban development approach. It has been supported by the city council for 10 years and it has constantly been included in Munich's transportation and urban planning concepts developed or adapted during that time. It is thus anchored in the City of Munich's strategic documents and has become an integral part of it.
Gscheid Mobil's awareness-raising measures are not only coordinated and implemented by the Road Traffic, Transport and Mobility Management Office, they are jointly developed with a variety of different partners within the municipality and beyond. Cooperations are maintained e.g. with schools, with the MVG (the transport company) or with businesses (car sharing, cargo bikes).
Also, target groups are consulted before launching a project to meet their needs the best way possible. Gscheid Mobil is a mobility project (kick-started by the transport planners) but at the same time it has become an education project for schools, an integration project for migrants and an information and awareness-raising project for many citizens in Munich. The subproject “Go!Family,” for example, is promoted by maternity hospitals and midwife practices. The active involvement of many different stakeholders makes Gscheid Mobil an integrated, sustainable and successful project.

Based on a participatory approach

Relevant stakeholders are involved in the conception and implementation of all “Gscheid Mobil” projects (e.g. MVG – the transport company, the car industry, universities and science, associations, further municipal departments, schools, the Deutsche Bahn – German railway company, carsharing companies, bicycle dealers etc.). When developing the project for new citizens, a focus group has been consulted. For the City of Munich, it is crucial to involve relevant stakeholders already during the conception phase of the project (or when planning an update) to make the project meet the needs of the target group. Only when the product (the information folder in this case) is well accepted by the audience in terms of content and layout, will it be used successfully. For the project Go!Family, there is an online questionnaire. Within the framework of the school projects, surveys among students and teachers are carried out. To involve not only externals but also municipal colleagues in the project “Gscheid Mobil” (the City of Munich has more than 30,000 employees), the concept “LHMobil” has been launched (LHM stands for Landeshauptstadt München). It offers mobility consultation for municipal staff and provides the municipal departments with e-bikes and cargo bikes to be used instead of company cars.

What difference has it made?

It is a bit difficult to measure the success of Gscheid Mobil in figures, as it is an awareness-raising project with long-term impacts on the mobility behaviour of citizens. Looking, for example, at the projects for children, Gscheid Mobil aims at shaping their attitude towards environmentally friendly mobility from early childhood to young adulthood, a period of 15 years. Not until age 18 are they able to (possibly) drive their own cars. But in the meantime, their school projects might have had an influence on their parents' mobility behaviour.
It is Munich's strong belief (and the reason why the city council has supported the project for 10 years) that the Gscheid Mobil measures positively influence citizens’ mobility behaviour and in the long run lead to a better informed citizenry and consequently to less car traffic and less CO2 emissions within the city. Evaluations do prove the positive effects of the Gscheid Mobil programme, however there also might be positive impacts which are not measurable directly.
A study investigating the individualised marketing approach for new residents has shown that the number of new citizens who used public transport was 7.6% higher among the group who received the information folder and the telephone consultation compared to the group who did not. Considering the fact that there are 85,000 new citizens in Munich each year, that would make a difference of 6,460 people driving to work by bus or metro instead of using their cars.

Why should other European cities use it?

Reducing car traffic and CO2 emissions through the promotion of environmentally friendly mobility options is an issue that concerns many cities in Europe. As Gscheid Mobil is not concentrated on one specific field of action only but offers a broad range of different sub-projects addressing different target groups, it could be interesting (and applicable!) for many European cities.
Some Gscheid Mobil projects have been developed within the framework of national and international research and funding projects (e.g. EU projects) and have already been transferred to other cities. Those international cooperation projects offered the opportunity to develop Gscheid Mobil material in other European languages (e.g. English, Spanish, Italian, Polish etc.) which facilitates transferability to other European cities even more. In 2014 the City of Munich won the EPOMM mobility management award for the best international policy and practice transfer. The prize was awarded for the transfer of the Gscheid Mobil new residents welcoming strategy from Munich to Almada, Portugal.