All over now – the Pop-Up Store of the EMA Initiative’s “Living Lab Aachen” is now history after closing yesterday evening. For three whole weeks, the local population was invited to help shape the future of mobility in Aachen. 4,000 people responded to the invitation.
Under the motto “My city – My mobility – My future”, the 22 partners of the EMA Initiative, drawn from the domains of science, business and administration, had invited interested people to come to their pop-up store in the heart of Aachen, and get to know – and have their own say about – the future of mobility in their city. Day after day, prototypes, concepts and ideas were presented at Markt 1, and, in numerous events, public opinions were gathered about concrete projects developed in Aachen and also to be tested here. Fascinating exhibits like the car of the future or virtual ordering of a packet per drone triggered sheer astonishment among some of the visitors, but also provided very pertinent answers to questions like “Where is urban mobility heading?”, “What exactly are researchers and developers aiming for in Aachen?” and “What role do Aachen’s inhabitants play in all this?” More than 4,000 interested people found he time to visit the store.
“Technologies ‘Made in Aachen’ should be on the streets of Aachen.”
“Thanks to Aachen’s research and development landscape, we are a step ahead of the others in the field of intelligent mobility. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to keep up our efforts. That’s why it’s great when such productive and innovative concepts like the EMA’s ‘Living Lab Aachen’ work out so well,” said Lord Mayor Marcel Philipp at the closing event. Dieter Begaß, Head of the City of Aachen’s Department for the Economy, Science and Europe and also responsible for the cooperation with the universities, added, “And that’s why our approach is the right one: that technologies ‘Made in Aachen’ should be on the streets of Aachen – and that we make sure to consistently involve the people of Aachen in the developments.”
One outcome: the inner city should not to be dominated by road traffic.
The results of the dialogue with the local populace were impressively presented by Andera Gadeib and Volker Gadeib from the company Dialego AG. In the pop-up store, this market research company implemented a range of dialogue formats in order to explore and document the wishes and needs of Aachen residents with regard to mobility. A frequent wish expressed by the locals was for road traffic to be more stress-free and more flexible, and for an inner city that was not dominated by road traffic. Concepts like mobility hubs outside the city gates as modern Park & Ride options or Mobility on Demand also met with very positive resonance.
The Initiative Erlebniswelt Mobilität Aachen (EMA) – dubbed “Living Lab Aachen” in English – was founded in May 2018 under the leadership of the City of Aachen’s Office for Economic Development and the company e.GO Mobile AG and bundles the competencies of its partners to transform Aachen into a real-world laboratory for the development and testing of future mobility concepts – and in this way to establish Aachen as a model location. Further EMA partners are the RWTH Aachen and the companies Ford Werke GmbH, FEV Europe GmbH, Lumileds, Ericsson, ASEAG and Dialego AG. In the meantime, numerous start-ups and university institutes have also joined the innovation network.
Several plans are already in the pipeline for 2019 to further advance the development of “Living Lab Aachen”. Among other things, the local populace can look forward to being invited to an “Event Summer 2019” where they will be able to try out the latest mobility concepts.