The needs and demands of the citizens form a central starting point in the current discussion on mobility and e-mobility, which is being conducted on different levels. The goal of the public conference was to gather social perspectives on the future of mobility and e-mobility and, in dialogue among the participants and with experts, to develop new ideas and find possible courses of action.
Based upon their personal needs, the 32 participants of the public conference representing Austria’s citizens formulated 15 recommendations on the future of public transport and e-mobility in Austria. A central concern for all citizens is environmentally friendly mobility in private and public transport – both supported by e-mobility.
Meeting with the greatest approval was the recommendation to optimize the public transport system by 2020 in such a way that it becomes an attractive alternative to the car. Decisive factors for this are reliability and frequency of service, affordability and a fair price-performance ratio, cleanliness and comfort, as well as optimal points of contact and connections to other means of transport. A popular factor was the recommendation to introduce the mobility card, which encompasses all mobility offerings – from public transport, through to e-car sharing and city bikes, right through to transport for the sick. One third of the recommendations contained themes that e-mobility should be affordable and of a high-performance, as well as being exclusively supplied from renewable electricity sources.
In a broad consensus (more than 50% agreement), the citizens voted for 15 of the 17 recommendations in the mobility communiqué.
Presentation to politics, industry and administration
The recommendations of the citizens conference flowed into two working parties on electromobility during the technology and economic discussions at Forum Alpbach and were presented to representatives from the sectors of politics, industry and administration. In a further step, the results will be presented to political and economic stakeholders in order to give these decision-makers greater understanding. VERBUND will take the recommendations into account in its activities for the promotion of e-mobility.
The dialogue process
To begin with there was a presentation and discussion of the detailed mobility protocol, which was maintained by the citizens in the run-up to the dialogue. In this record they noted down their daily mobility behaviour, their satisfaction or their annoyance on each day. In small, moderated groups and in plenary sessions, the citizens discussed their personal mobility requirements so as to then determine the most important topics from these for the further work steps. The knowledge was then expanded in dialogue among the participants and with experts. The following experts were available to the citizens for questions concerning the different aspects of mobility:
- Environment, technology & energy: Günther Lichtblau/Federal Environmental Agency, Martin Scheuermaier/Office of the Vorarlberg Provincial Government and Martin Wagner/Verbund Austrian Power Sales
- Lifestyle & car sharing: Christine Chaloupka-Risser/Factum Research Institute and Michael Röck/Denzel Car Sharing
- Town, land & space: Tatjana Fischer/BOKU and Hermann Knoflacher/Technical University of Vienna
- Public transport: Christian Eugster/Vorarlberg power plants and Wolfram Gehri/ÖBB-Postbus Tyrol
At the end of the two-and-a-half days of learning and dialogue processes, the citizens translated their most important findings into recommendations to industry, politics and administration.
Mobility moves people from Grosswarasdorf via Graz through to Götzis
32 citizens from throughout Austria, ranging in age from 18 through to 65 years, were participants at the public conference. Their diversity reflected important socio-demographic characteristics such as the age, sex and level of education of the citizens of Austria. The group was equally composed of men and women. Included were both people in employment or retired, unemployed or in school; the education level ranged from academic studies through to apprenticeships. Especially important in the selection was the invitation of inhabitants from both rural and urban areas with diverse mobility habits.
To complement the series of discussions, e-cars, scooters and bikes were on hand for the citizens to test; these were made available by Denzel Car Sharing and ElectroDrive Tyrol. This practical experience was a further point of contact to enable the participants to expand their knowledge in the discussion with the experts.