Centre for Mobility Culture

Centre for Mobility Culture

The understanding what „mobility“ really is differs depending on one’s perspective. At the Centre, we see a key aspect of mobility in people possessing the possibility to shape their everyday lives in ways that are pleasant and convenient and diverse in close proximity to where they live. A basic part of mobility is to have the infrastructure and opportunities to meet these everyday needs close at hand.

This means that the concept of mobility brings together technical, planning and social factors and also the interactions of architecture and culture on how we move through our everyday lives. Between „staying at home“ and „travelling around“ there is a huge range of overlapping life styles, not to mention historically moulded infrastructures and social and cultural experiences that make up any given mobility praxis.   The term „mobility“ came originally from the social sciences and was used to refer to the opportunity of moving from one social class to another – as in „upward mobility“. In this social context, openness and interaction with others are of fundamental importance; we see these qualities as being essential to our work as well. For us, changing the view that people have of the world is just as important as making that world accessible to people or planning for how they can move through it in a practical way.

Indeed, it is these interactions and interdependencies of different disciplines which open up exciting new paths of thought and action that until now have been blocked by the limits of various academic and professional specialities. The Centre is therefore open to all disciplines that deal with questions of a comprehensively understood notion of mobility.

How do the house and the street interact in the urban setting? What is the relevance today of historically evolved patterns of use of streets and public spaces (squares, plazas, parks, etc.)? Are there views of the house, the street, and various means of transport that are culturally determined, and how can we interpret these views and make use of them? How does the „background“ of social and societal ideals influence the reality of transport in our lives? What influence do established views of the city and of transport have on architecture and on urban planning? Is it not perhaps necessary to take one or two steps back and think a little bit, before we can really make progress with new forms of planning and mobility? In what ways does stepping away from established approaches and procedures require a particular form of openness and a new orientation?

The Centre is made up of specialists and experts working along these lines with an interdisciplinary orientation, sometimes independently of one another and at other times together in the further development of a humane and sustainable mobility culture.