A new initiative was launched to support Austrian municipalities and cities in adjusting to climate change: KlimaKonkret wants to show – based on the example of a prototypal Austrian municipality – which actual possibilities are available for adapting to climate change. It offers a central service point for interested municipalities. Cycle Competence member con.sens mobilitätsdesign has worked on the mobility sector for the initiative.
Taking concrete steps against the climate crisis
Based on an idea by Austrian artist André Heller and under the patronage of federal president Alexander van der Bellen, KlimaKonkret wants to address all Austrian municipalities to implement climate change adaption measures and to offer help to do so.
“Every single person is responsible to help as enthusiastically as possible to protect our planet on all levels for current and future inhabitants and to ensure the sustainable protection of its beauty, healing powers and comprehensive quality. With this in mind it was a profound need of mine to become one of the initiators of the KlimaKonkret project.”
The initiative aims to be a point of contact for municipalities offering all informations on topics such as possibilities of funding up to the actual implementation of projects. The project is financially supported by the Austrian climate and energy fund and “The Innovation in Politics Institute GmbH”. Theresia Vogel, managing director of the climate and energy fund, noted at the presentation in November: “The KlimaKonkret plan gives decision makers an orientation guide illustrating what municipalities can do for their climate-fit future.”
To get a grip on man-made climate change two strategies have to be run parallel: climate protection measures to cap the temperature rise and measures to adapt to the effects of climate change that can already be felt. Based on a prototypal Austrian municipality the KlimaKonkret plan shows which measures can be taken to adapt to climate changes. The focus is places on the following fields of action:
- green spaces
- construction & residential developments
Cycle Competence member con.sens mobilitätsdesign is also actively involved in the interdisciplinary team of the initiative. Together with Weatherpark GmbH, Raumposition and 3:0 Landschaftsarchitektur, con.sens is responsible for the fundamental concept behind KlimaKonkret, drawing up content and the scientific monitoring. Among other things, the experts at con.sens have developed the following proposals for measures in the field of mobility by a climate-fit municipality:
Traffic theme: Fair sharing of street space
75% of all street space in Austria is available to cars. But only 50% of all distances are covered by car. Only once pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport are allocated the appropriate space, alternative routes can be taken safely and attractively. Therefore it is necessary to reduce the width of car lanes as well as speed and the number of parking lots in street spaces – in favour of pedestrian and bike lanes and more attractive public space.
Creating mobility diversity
KlimaKonkret recommends the creation of demand oriented mobility offers to achieve the greatest possible mobility diversity. Apart from e-mobility and rental systems (BikeSharing, CarSharing etc.) public transport as well as the cycling and pedestrian networks have to be expanded as well. One possible measure to achieve this are be Mobility Hubs. They combine different mobility offers at one location. Ideally all mobility offers can be booked via one single mobility ticket which is also valid as a public transport ticket.
Cargobikes and e-bikes for everyone!
E-bikes and cargobikes are a good alternative to cars. Rental systems for cargobikes or e-bikes are trending now. They can be made available at affordable rates for everyone who needs them.
Creating regional cycling connections
To make the switch to bicycles more attractive, a regional cycling network has to be developed with municipalities in the vicinity. A positive side effect of this climate measure is the promotion of cooperations between neighbouring communities.
Attractive design for pedestrian & bike lanes as well as waiting areas
If pedestrian and bike lanes are shaded, green and ideally even structurally separated people are more likely to actively cover distances instead of using their car.
Service center and 30,000 folding plans
In total, 30,000 folding plans were sent to Austrian municipalities. Based on a prototypal Austrian municipality they are showing a successful climate-fit design. André Heller says: “This plan contains information what to do in a construction project and which paths the 2,100 municipalities could take.” The service centre of the Climate Change Centre Austria is happy to answer any questions. The CCCA is a network agent and mouthpiece for the Austrian climate and climate effect research. It is also the point of contact for questions regarding climate change. Municipalities and interested parties can directly contact the experts to get an initial consultation as well as more detailed proposals for solutions.