Smart Mobility for Rural Areas

EDAG Production Solutions is awarded a pilot project for modular mobility in the urban area of Eichenzell

Mobility concepts for urban areas are currently in the media spotlight. However, these cannot be transferred to Germany's rural regions without modification. Even if the degree of urbanization has been increasing for decades, there are still 32 million people in Germany living in regions outside of the metropolitan areas. Eichenzell's successful participation in the "Smart cities made in Germany" funding program has shown that the implementation of mobility hubs can help promote alternative forms of mobility - for both innovative logistics and transportation tasks in rural areas. In a public tender procedure, EDAG Production Solutions (EDAG PS) submitted an innovative concept and a strong partner network which carried the day.

"We are proud to have won this project in the region," says Dirk Keller, Managing Director of EDAG PS. "With our solutions and technologies, we have already furnished impressive proof of the fact that we are rethinking mobility. We are now looking forward to the collaboration project, supported by our strong network of companies in Hesse."

IT & technology meet design

EDAG PS has overall responsibility for the entire project management, the participation formats for citizens, the IT concept, and also for the EU-wide technology benchmark and the energy concept. The design is to be developed by partners "unit-design" from Frankfurt and the architect team "netzwerkarchitekten" from Darmstadt, who will be bringing with them the expertise and experience they gained in the lighthouse project "regiomove" and many reference projects in the fields of mobility design, architecture, urban planning and design. What is special about this project is the interaction of design, architecture, IT development, mobility development and energy expertise in an early concept phase. In addition, the results from Eichenzell will be made available to other towns within the framework of a transferability concept.

A flexible modular system which, depending on the location defined includes different logistics and mobility services, is being developed at selected transport hubs in Eichenzell. A mobility hub combines different types of mobility, for instance public transport and other road users such as pedestrians or cyclists. The finished concept for mobility hubs will cover a wide variety of functions, depending on the location: from ticket machines, passenger information, on-demand services and car sharing vehicles to bicycle parking facilities, bicycle hire, lockers, and electric charging stations - for both bicycles and cars. Pedelecs, electric scooters and cargo bikes are also to be combined with other services when required, e.g. packing stations. Looking to the future, there are plans to set up these modular stations in all the villages throughout the area, always geared to the specific needs of the locality concerned.

The basis for the design of the mobility hubs and interactive areas is to be created by the project team in the next few weeks. The results from the mobility survey recently carried out in Eichenzell will also be playing a role here. In the project kick-off, the first thing was to get an overall picture of the selected sites, in order to develop a forward-looking concept for the implementation of the construction work. This is intended to be fully integrated into the community's landscape.

Johannes Rothmund, Eichenzell's mayor, emphasizes: "We want to offer our citizens mobility solutions that are fun, sustainable, and smart. Together with EDAG PS, we are playing a pioneering role in Germany when it comes to mobility hubs in rural areas. We do not, however, regard the finished concept as an end in itself - on completion, we will be making our findings available to all towns and villages in the district, so that we can learn from each other and create mobility solutions that will encourage people to get involved."

The concept is to be completed and then presented to the public in the course of the next year.