#rp19 Call for Participation: The Mobility & City Track

City, Country, Autobahn..?

For the re:publica 2019, we’re looking for your ideas and visions as well as solid research about mobility and the city of the future.

The term “smart city” is already getting a bit cliché, but how we plan on designing intelligent, liveable cities of the future is far from clear right now. Is a smart city efficient and sustainable, or does it enable chaotic anonymity and personal freedom? And does the one aim entirely exclude the other? For some, the modern city is a human-made, open-source production, while others see it as a sales market and still others view it as a symbol for public participation.


We want your input: What does the increasing digital networking of urban space mean exactly for a city’s inhabitants? Is there an increase in sustainability with sensor-equipped streetlamps that turn themselves on and off or does it instead represent a loss of anonymous urban space?

What do you think about the rejection of a Google campus in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood? Does the local obstruction allow conclusions to be drawn about a globally growing resistance to platform capitalism and privately sourced urban planning, or is it merely a localized phenomenon unique to Berlin? Is a smart city better designed by local governments and citizens or would it be more efficiently managed by international tech companies?

What analogue urban spaces do we even need in a digital society and what would they look like? And what in the world is going to come after smart now?


While smart mobility represents autonomously driving cars, or perhaps even flying taxis, it also means how the public (urban) space can be fairly shared by all road users. What changes need to be made in public transport on roads – which is also part of the public space shared by all inhabitants – in the city of the future? How can we ensure that pedestrians and bicyclists will have enough space to move safely despite car sharing and autonomous cars? And what new opportunities will be created by increasing digitisation in transport that can be implemented in a resource-neutral manner and that have as small an impact on the climate as possible?

Are road and motorway construction and expansion viable over the long term and, if not, what are the alternatives? Will my digital purchase soon be delivered by drone or by a cargo bike?

How do we deal with the masses of rental bicycles that have recently been clogging up street corners, and does car sharing truly lead to a decreased number of unused cars in the city? How effectively can first/last mile connections be planned via an app, and what options are there in public transport to ensure more mobility-on-demand services? What would these sorts of services mean for traditional public transport? 

And what about the numerous commuters who don’t live in the cities but out in the countryside and only have limited access to public transport or only have very few alternatives to owning their own car?

We’d love to see multifarious participation in this debate. Aside from ideas from tech nerds, mobility researchers and urban planners, there’s still a lot to learn from analyses of mobility and cities from almost every discipline. We welcome critical, creative, academic and artistic contributions. Urban life and the mobility of the future concern all of us – regardless of whether you ride a bicycle, drive a car, live in the country or the city.

You have until 16 December to submit any traditional formats such as lectures and panel discussions as well as anything that will leave the re:publica audience breathless and is a lot of fun: hands-on workshops in the MakerSpace, VR performances, installations or inspiring actions with bots and robots that open up new perspectives onto the topic of “Mobility & City”.

We’re looking forward to your submissions!