Mannheim’s Transition to New Forms of Mobility


Coronavirus Crisis, Climate Protection and Challenges for Sustainable Urban Mobility

The climate crisis is being sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic. Some industry stakeholders and policymakers have already called for scaling down climate protection measures to prioritise the economy. Meanwhile, climate experts warn against wasting precious time and press for investment in sustainable technologies. Even though the “Fridays for Future” movement – which has come to be a major player in the climate debate – has been less visible in the media, their efforts against climate change has continued online.

This digital event sheds light on the question of how we can and must rethink current forms of mobility in times of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly focusing on the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. As one of five model cities in Germany participating in a pilot project, Mannheim is a forerunner in reducing nitrogen dioxide. The aim of the project is to actively shape the transition to sustainable mobility by, for instance, limiting levels of particulate matter and reducing emissions, while ensuring that urban transport remains fast, efficient and affordable for the public.

Can Mannheim meet the demands that come with being a “model city”? Are public transportation measures like cheaper tickets and higher frequency of transport services enough to reduce the emission of pollutants and ensure sustainable urban mobility? At the same time, the question remains whether, in view of the coronavirus pandemic, it would be better to expand cycling infrastructure in order to avoid infection hotspots such as public transport. Against this background, the event will discuss how the recently adopted stimulus packages can be used to reconcile ecological sustainability and economic development. Can we become more resilient to crises by avoiding emissions?

The event will open with a keynote speech by ZEW mobility expert Dr. Wolfgang Habla, who will outline current research findings on transport policy measures. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring ZEW President Achim Wambach; Christian Specht, Mayor of the City of Mannheim; Miriam Caroli, chair of the local ride-sharing provider Stadtmobil Rhein-Neckar; and Laura Hober from “Fridays for Future”. Julia Wadle, editor at Mannheimer Morgen, will moderate the debate. The audience is welcome to participate and ask questions via Zoom.

The event will be held as part of the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) project “Dialogue on Climate Economics”.

We would like to thank the ZEW Sponsors’ Association for its support of the lecture series First-Hand Information on Economic Policy.



#ZEWlive: Mannheim’s Transition to New Forms of Mobility


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Miriam Caroli //

Christian Specht //

Laura Hober

Julia Wadle //

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