Employees in bicycle shops had a lot to do during the Corona crisis. People were obviously drawn to bicycles and outdoors into nature. Does this also have long-term consequences for traffic in cities? Will our mobility behavior change as a result of the crisis? Dr. Frank Friesecke looks ahead in our GEOMNIBUS series “The Smart City to Corona”. He is a Smart City expert and authorized signatory of STEG, one of the largest urban development companies in Germany.
Is the bicycle the winner of the crisis or the car?
First of all, the spread of the corona virus and the resulting initial restrictions have led to a forced, unprecedented, breathing space for traffic.
The answer to your question is clearly yes for the bicycle as a means of transport. As far as the use of the car is concerned, only the future will show whether we fall back into old mobility patterns or whether car journeys will actually decrease noticeably as a result of home offices, e-learning, fewer business trips and virtual events.
In any case, the pandemic will serve as an accelerator for new urban traffic concepts. During the crisis it became clear that urban transport areas are not divided up according to demand. This has led to rethinking, and in many cases to short-term solutions: Cities such as Berlin or Paris are suddenly investing millions of euros in a new (pop-up) cycling infrastructure in order to network the entire city and prepare for increased cycling after the crisis.
In addition to the newly forming traffic flows, it is digitalization and smart technologies that can lead to more efficient traffic management. Here, too, I assume that the development towards digitally networked transport services will continue to accelerate.
In the further episodes of the GEOMNIBUS series “The Smart City after Corona”, you can read about the effects of the corona crisis on the housing market, urban planning or the world of work.
Interview: die STEG
Find out more: