Home » How to design age-friendly public spaces around mobility hot-spots? First results in Hamburg
In 2019, Hamburg started its pilot focusing the age-friendly design of public space at mobility hot-spots. In the first phase the project team talked to more than 100 citizens aged 60+ at Eimsbuettel’s mobility hot-spots and in activity centers. The main topics were their mobility preferences and their valuation of public spaces around mobility hot spots. In November 2019, Phase II started with a co-creation workshop that identified explicit problems and possible solutions at mobility hot spots. At the beginning of December 2019, the topics were confirmed and expanded in the 5th Mobility Forum.
The short interviews at mobility hot-spots and in activity centers revealed clear tendencies concerning the mobility of Silver Agers in the borough of Eimsbuettel. In everyday life, elderly people mostly walk and use public transport. Sharing offers (like bike, car- or ridesharing) are known to most of the people, but they hardly ever use them. This is mainly because of digital barriers. Some people also stated that the bikes were too heavy and the frames were too high.
A bit less than half of the people involved is using a bike, while other seniors stated that cycling seems too risky (especially within the urban traffic) or that it is simply not possible anymore for them, due to health reasons. About half of the elderly who were involved in the talks have a private car that they mainly use for shopping or leisure activities. Car-sharing was not seen as an alternative for most of these people, so there is still something to be improved in the field of sharing offers.
Public transport is mostly described as generally reliable and with a good frequency. Most of the mobility hot spots were rated rather positively, especially with regard to safety, orientation and accessibility. Here, however, redundant reference was made to the lack of lighting, the partial lack of service, lifts that fail for too long and the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.
There are still many aspects that can be improved in order to offer citizens an encompassing sustainable network that will make the car obsolete.
The need for improvement at mobility hot spots was intensely discussed at the first workshop and the Mobility Forum, as well as first ideas for their design. The intense discussions and the variety of ideas show a great interest of senior citizens to be seriously involved in such processes.
At the moment a guideline for an age-friendly design of public spaces is being developed, including exemplary solutions for the most urgent problems. These will be discussed and further developed in a second and third workshop in February and May 2020. Furthermore, Eimsbuettel is preparing an online tool, which will be used for the evaluation exemplary solutions.
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