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TU Berlin

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Research fields

  1. Societal and human aspects
  2. Spatial Aspects of Transport
  3. Sustainable Urban Mobility
  4. Smart Mobility
  5. Commercial Transport
  6. Methods and Tools for Mobility Research


1) Societal and human aspects

Societal and human aspects as a focus area of research draw on the fact that trends in society are shaping future transport systems as well as their use and are finding their indirect expression in prevailing planning paradigms and planning policies. Based on this, basic and applied oriented research can be conducted. The former describes the interrelation between transport and society while the latter could be researching ways and policies for influencing the development of the transport system and its use. Specific topics could include how the transport systems is shaped by political imperatives, the furtherance of social inclusivity by new modes of transport or the impact of autonomous driving on public transport provision, amongst many more. The research unit “Mobility and Space” has been working on this subject within a number of research projects including: Generationserfahrung - individuelle Biographie und Mobilitätsverhalten, MoabitRad, Personale Mobilität und Verkehrspolitik im internationalen Vergleich or 'Die “Nutzerkonstruktion” im Öffentlichen Verkehr anhand des Beispiels “Transantiago”'.


2) Spatial Aspects of Transport

The mutual influence between the built environment (urban and rural) and mobility is undeniable, however it is a complex, multi-layered, and context specific relation. The built environments that are characterized by compactness, connectivity, mix of uses, diversity, good accessibility, and barrier freedom can have multiple benefits in terms of sustainable mobility. On the other hand, transport plays an important role in shaping the built environment. Understating such relation and its norms horizontally (e.g. different neighborhoods), vertically (e.g., regional, city-, and neighborhood-level) within the different contexts in imperative in terms of facilitating sustainable mobility while decreasing traffic, decreasing fuel and space consumption, and promoting safety, equity, and welfare. The research unit “Mobility and Space” has been working intensively over the last years on these aspects within a number of research projects including YoungCities project, HOT-Egypt, Smart Sustainable District (SSD) Moabit West and SUMRICA.


3) Sustainable Mobility

The population of cities worldwide is growing rapidly. At the same time the use of combustion-engine-driven vehicles remains increasing in most cities. This results not only in overcrowded transport infrastructures but also in a dramatic increase of emissions such as noise or fine particles that are threating the quality of life and health of people living in urban areas. Sustainable Mobility tackles this development by applying diverse strategies, methods and measures to reduce the usage of conventionally driven vehicles and to promote active transportation modes such as cycling and walking, public transportation and multimodal mobility systems. The research unit Mobility and Space focuses its research on questions related to assessing and applying methods promoting sustainable transportation modes in diverse conditions and to identify which sustainable transportations modes are transferable to other cities. Sustainable Mobility was the main focus in the projects Neighborhood-Demonstrator, Smart Sustainable District (SSD) Moabit West, Forschungscluster "Urbaner Metabolismus - Sustainable Urban Transfair", Pilotprojekt Nachhaltiger Verkehr in China am Beispiel der Stadt Qian‘an.


4) Smart Mobility

The transport sector is currently subject to profound changes. Megatrends like climate change, scarcity of fossil fuels, urbanization, an aging society, public sector debt, higher mobility costs and faster innovation cycles of information and communication technologies are just a few of the megatrends that have a strong impact on the development of public transport markets, business models and traffic behavior. These and other foreseeable future trends entail enormous risks for the transport sector, but also offer great opportunities. The research unit tries to tackle selected challenges from this huge field of so called “Smart Mobility”. The scope of our work reaches from identifying user-group depending information requirements for seamless air travels (within the huge field of Mobility as a Service - MaaS) over questions related to autonomous driving to developing approaches to aggregate spatially disaggregated electric transport fleets’ battery capacities as sources for balancing energy in local distribution grids. The research unit has been working on this topic in numerous projects including: Cities.MultiModal (CMM), Smart Sustainable District (SSD) Moabit West, Smart Mobile Energy (SME), Sector-Coupled Systems in Smart Grids (SCSSG), Door to Door Information for Air Passengers (DORA), Einführung von Bürgerbussen in Gransee.


5) Commercial Transport

Commercial transport is defined as goods traffic, service movements and business trips. It has a share of almost one third of the whole traffic. But the impact share as air pollution and noise is much higher because of the use of heavy-duty vehicles (trucks). Commercial transport has to be integrated in city planning. Efficient planning measures to reduce negative impact are rarely. Solutions as the use of electrical vehicle or cargo-bikes as well new cooperation concepts of urban delivery (in particular on the last mile) have to developed and evaluated. The issues of Commercial Transport were the main topic in research project as komDRIVE or Wirtschaftsverkehrskonzept Usedom.


6) Methods and Tools for Mobility Research

Besides the traditional qualitative and qualitative methods (questionnaire, polling, surveys, etc.), some innovative methods are used and adjusted to the transportation analysis which also includes interdisciplinary methods. We use diverse methods and tools, beyond those of classic mobility research for our process evaluation, impact evaluation and usability assessment. For observation of transport impacts, we also use the approaches of our external partners (e.g. VISUM). Some innovative tools like Crowdmapping and TEECT (Transport Energy and Emission Calculation Tool) are also used for public participation and traffic modelling.

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