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Mobility as a state of mind

Aug 08, 2017
“People very quickly forget about a traffic jam providing it doesn’t lasts longer than ten minutes.” 140 pairs of eyes were focused on the speaker Gerhard Fehr. At the international symposium on commuter mobility in Hard, Austria, in mid-November, Mr Fehr, a behavioural economist, was showing his audience why the choice of means of transport is often not a rational decision.

Experts in economics, politics, administration and representatives of NGOs and associations from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein were offered inspiring ideas on sustainable mobility as well as an opportunity to exchange views.

They found out that good mobility measures help commuters to fall back instinctively on alternatives to the car as they are not based on complex decision-making processes. Frank Burmeister from the Netherlands Ministry of Transport used his country’s mobility strategy to illustrate how this can be implemented. That strategy is aimed at shifting commuter flows over to bicycles, car pools and trains.

The symposium was an important stage in the cross-sector Pemo project, which CIPRA is conducting on behalf of Liechtenstein and the Canton of St. Gallen, in collaboration with the Vorarlberg Energy Institute and the administrative district of Lindau. Major employers play a key role in this regard. As part of the Pemo project nineteen companies and institutions are trialling analysis methods and measures for altering commuters’ behaviour. Pemo is building on the experiences of the Alpstar Alpine Space Project, which drew up methods for reducing CO2 emissions in the mobility sector in the Alpine Rhine Valley pilot region to use these findings across the Alps.

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“For me, cross-border projects are certainly the watchword, particularly in a region that has such close cultural ties and
is as narrowly confined as the Alpine Rhine Valley. Through our meetings with project partners such as CIPRA from neighbouring regions I have become acquainted with many new ideas that help to advance our work in Vorarlberg.”

Martin Reis, Pemo project partner, Vorarlberg/A Energy Institute