Learning how Cologne (Germany) is fighting its air quality issues and moving towards decarbonisation was at the core of a recent CIVITAS study visit to the city.
Over three days in early April, the cities of Turku (Finland), Bristol (UK) and Murcia (Spain) joined by experts from the ICLEI EcoMobility team visited Cologne to see how that is being achieved.
With KVB, the city’s public transport operator, committed to deploying a 100% electric bus fleet by 2030, and RVK, the regional public transport provider switching to fuel cell busses, the city is clearly taking important steps in its fight against pollution. The visitors enjoyed a journey in one of the city’s new electric buses.
They also discovered how Cologne is implementing its Green City Masterplan. The masterplan is a complex set of soft and hard mobility-measures to improve air quality.
They range from the establishment of mobility hubs to the deployment of zero-emission buses, without forgetting the relevance of improving the city bicycle infrastructures and enlarging pedestrian areas. “Dieselgate triggered federal subsidies to implement more measures to better the air quality – that was the time to act” Explained Gregor Waluga, representative of the city of Cologne.
The comprehensive masterplan is now becoming a reality, and the participants had the chance to work through the decision-making process of a peer city and garner hands-on ideas with replication potential.
Jacob Pryor from Bristol City Council highlighted: “I enjoyed the ‘relaxed’ and not overly-formal atmosphere which allowed all participants to share their experiences throughout. We all face extremely similar challenges!”
Following the visit, the city of Bristol took home the motto of the trip – ‘Clone Cologne’! Bristol has intensified its exchange with Cologne and launched the process of establishing mobility hubs in their city. Relevant data shared by Cologne will help demonstrate how mobility stations have fostered a modal shift away from car use, exactly the evidence base that Bristol was looking for: “We are now making good progress in developing the concept for mobility stations in Bristol!” said Jodi Savickas, who participated in the visit representing Bristol.
Find out more about current CIVITAS study visits here.