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Four Weeks Without a Car in Munich - Successful UMPARKEN Experiment by Digital Hub Mobility

Space of the initiative UMPARKEN Schwabing - people on the colorful pedestrian area © Bernhard Kalkbrenner
20 May 2021

Eight households give up their cars for four weeks and switch to alternative mobility options. The pleasing result: three of the households state that they will give up their cars permanently at the end of the experiment. This makes the "UMPARKEN Schwabing" project, part of the citizen mobility co-innovation format, a success.

citizen mobility works with start-ups, corporate partners, experts from the municipal administration and the Digital Hub Mobility team to develop solutions to mobility problems, and implements them as prototypes. During the four weeks of the experiment, the eight households from Schwabing, Munich, parked their vehicles on the outskirts of the city in late summer 2020 and switched to "multimodal" alternatives. Each household received a mobility budget of €300, while four parking spaces were redesigned for alternative use during the period. The test group was able to use their budget to access various innovative sharing and rental services as well as public transportation, including services from evhcle. The solutions by the start-ups Moovster and Veomo contributed to a user-friendly accomplishment of the experiment.

What happened with the free parking spaces in the meantime? Together with Designit, the Digital Hub Mobility prototyped the "VeloHub" which provided a bicycle and e-kickscooter parking facility, as well as seating accommodation. On the free space, the team also built up a herb garden and an information booth.

In our case, the car is not moved for 3-4 weeks sometimes.

Participant of the project UMPARKEN

The test group experienced these four weeks very differently: on the one hand, they were relatively unanimous that the available mobility services in Munich can make a car superfluous. "In our case, the car is not moved for 3-4 weeks sometimes," says one participant in the project. However, there are disadvantages on weekends: for example, the car-sharing services are not yet optimally developed - keyword: lack of availability - and the daily rentals are perceived to be quite expensive. The Deutsche Bahn also proves to be inconvenient, too crowded and not very comfortable on weekends, especially in the current pandemic situation.

The alternative design of the free parking spaces was partly perceived very positively, but in the dialogue with residents, concerns about noise disturbance due to lively use also became clear, so that in the next iteration cycle, the seating options would be reduced.

The Digital Hub Mobility has summarized the "UMPARKEN" concept and the results of the Munich campaign in a freely available paper. The document is intended to provide inspiration and assistance for urban experiments in Munich and other cities.

More information on the campaign is available at Partners in the project were the BMW Group, Aisin, the City of Munich, Designit and the Universität der Bundeswehr.

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