Munich continues to grow year after year, and the call for a mobility turnaround is getting louder and louder. But its design must be compatible with citizens’ different interests and needs - no easy task for Mobility Officer Georg Dunkel. We talked to him about the future of mobility in Munich and concrete projects to improve traffic pressure.
What is your daily commute like, and how do you get to work in the morning?
I live near the Olympic Park and have my office on Sendlinger Straße. I ride my bike all year round.
How do you personally experience the mobility situation in Munich now?
We are in a situation of upheaval. For many reasons, the mobility turnaround is imperative and non-negotiable. Road space in Munich needs to be redistributed. For some, this can't happen fast enough. Others, however, are losing privileges they have grown fond of and show no understanding of this. Balancing the different interests of the citizenry is not easy and, in the end, not always possible.
What priorities have the Mobility Department of the City of Munich set for the next five years?
The Mobility Department is implementing the traffic turnaround. We have a roadmap for this, our Mobility Strategy 2035, with 19 sub-strategies. Since the department was founded in January 2021, we have already achieved a lot: The city council has granted us more than 500 million euros to expand the streetcar network. The topic of sharing will also grow massively in importance in the coming years. By 2026, we will build 200 Mobilpunkte with 1,600 parking spaces for sharing cars. We are also pursuing the car-free or car-reduced old town, implementing the citizens' petition "Radentscheid," and have recently started a different construction phase for the Altstadt-Radlring.
Has the citizen mobility project "Umparken Schwabing" provided a valuable impetus for the state capital Munich?
Valuable knowledge is generated for the city, in this case, the realization that we need more mobility options for trips to the mountains on weekends. The mountain bus is a small building block that helps here, but we will also be able to achieve significant improvements here with the massive expansion of sharing. In addition, the project has confirmed that a switch from private cars to sustainable mobility is quite feasible if the right offers are available.
What advantages does cooperation with Digital Hub Mobility offer the state capital?
We can no longer afford to pursue individual interests regarding the significant challenges. The Digital Hub Mobility brings various perspectives and competencies from business, start-ups, science, and administration. Together, we are searching for the right solutions for the citizens of our city. We can test ideas and learn from them and thus, together with the Digital Hub Mobility in Munich, lay the foundations for introducing new, forward-looking solutions.
What do you want from business and society for Munich's mobile future?
I want everyone on the move in the city to show understanding of the perspectives of others. I am convinced that we will benefit as a city society if we implement the mobility revolution together. But this also means that people don't remain stuck in their position but move and take a step toward others.
Thank you very much for the interview!