The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced the winner of the competition for the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the area of urban mobility. The EIT chose the consortium "MOBiLus", in which Technical University of Munich (TUM) plays an essential role. Here 48 international partners are working to develop solutions for sustainable urban traffic. One of the five Innovation Hubs is in Munich at TUM. The EU will contribute 400 million Euros to the major billion-Euro project, which is headquartered in Barcelona.
Air pollution, congested streets, gaps in public transportation networks: The pressures placed on urban transportation are constantly growing. At the same time the attractive design of public spaces, comfortable mobility and codetermination by the public in decisions on urban planning are becoming more and more important.
The "MOBiLus" consortium has the defined objective of finding urban mobility solutions for liveable spaces (the abbreviation is for "Mobility for Liveable Urban Spaces"). The core consortium in 2015 consisted of the EuroTech Alliance TU Munich, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and TU Eindhoven (TU/e). In the meantime a total of eleven European universities are represented in the consortium, with TUM the only German member. World-class corporations such as E.ON, BMW, Siemens and SEAT are also on board. UnternehmerTUM, Center for Innovation and Business Creation at TUM, is also among the partners. In 2016 UnternehmerTUM was designated Digital Hub Mobility by the German federal government. 13 cities are also involved in the major project, including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Prague, Istanbul and Munich.
Reconciling the common good with individual interests
The central conflict in the development of urban mobility is reflected in the lower-case letters "i" and "us" (the English pronouns I and us) in the name "MOBiLus". "We have individual interests from business that we have to make compatible with the shared public interests of a city," explains Gebhard Wulfhorst, Professor for Land Use Patterns and Traffic Planning and coordinator of the project at TUM. "This is the key to sustainable development." This means one important objective is the increased involvement of the general public in the projects.
Another major challenge is making cities more liveable. "The most precious resource in the city is space, and space is limited," observes Wulfhorst. Another of the MOBiLus goals is thus to make a portion of the space currently being used for vehicular traffic available for other public uses.
TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann comments on the successful competition: "Mobility and intelligent traffic and transport systems are a strong part of the TUM research profile, ideally manifested on a regional basis, but also at our Asian site in Singapore, where TUM.CREATE is performing research into mobility concepts for megacities."
Promotion of future-oriented topics
The Knowledge and Innovation Communities, KICs, are legally independent partnerships between universities, scientific organizations, companies and other stakeholders that handle future-oriented topics of social relevance at the EU level. The participating partners are to develop new products, educational concepts and services and to energize the start-up scene.
- MOBiLus project page
- Mobility at TUM
- European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
- EIT news release
- News release from Eurotech Universities
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gebhard Wulfhorst
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Professorship for Land Use Patterns and Traffic Planning