For decades, the car has been the dominant means of transport in germany. The number of registrations has been rising for years. There are currently more vehicles registered in the district of bad kissingen than there are inhabitants. This development is detrimental to the quality of life in places where inner cities are choking on traffic or communities are calling for bypasses because noise, dirt and traffic congestion are getting out of hand in the city. "The willingness to take it for granted is dwindling", says the president of the government of lower franconia, eugen ehmann.
What can mayors, councils and city planners do to relieve congestion in urban centers and how can they ensure that cities remain vibrant and people are mobile?? These and similar questions were the focus of the annual conference on urban development to which the government of lower franconia invited guests yesterday in bad kissingen. The motto this year: city, country, mobility. "A broad topic that is currently being discussed in depth", says ehmann. Around 220 guests came to the tattersall, including mayors, district councillors, planners and employees from the administrations.
There are many conflicting interests in this topic. Drivers complain when they do not get a parking place. Pedestrians complain when a car clogs the sidewalk and cyclists complain that driving on the roads is subjectively becoming more and more dangerous. "And yet the car must always be there when you need it", ehmann describes the dilemma. Simply locking cars out of towns and cities is not a solution. "But we can’t go on like this either", he emphasized.
Competition for the car
The government president advocates a mix of different modes of transport. In rural regions with an aging population, such as the district of bad kissingen, he believes that flexible public transport (opnv) is a model for the future. This starts with classic call buses and burger initiatives. "We need to develop an opnv as needed", he says. People could, for example, use an app to enter when they need to go from where to where. From this, the transportation companies were able to put together routes that a bus could then drive to. Ehmann: "the important thing is: it has to remain affordable and attractive enough to be an alternative to the car."
Directing tourist traffic
The conference also highlighted municipal examples, such as how bad neustadt, as a model city for electromobility, is taking up this role in urban planning, or how the small wine town of sommerach is dealing with the volume of tourist traffic in its old town.
Traffic and mobility is currently also a topic for the bad kissingen building administration. "We are in the process of preparing a transportation development plan," says, says city planner christine schwind. From general challenges like handicapped-accessible sidewalks, bike lanes, and the opnv to specific issues. "How do we ensure the accessibility of the spa area without disturbing the peace of the guests"?, she explains. Tourist traffic must also be planned for in the event of a successful great spas of europe unesco application.
There are other projects in which the stadtebauforderung supports the city. For example, there are plans to designate the spa area as a redevelopment area in order to stimulate private investment in buildings. The development of a new building area north of stogerstrabe is also part of the city’s urban development plan, as is the design of the surface for the upcoming redevelopment of the old town. During several tours of the city center, the administration informed the guests of the meeting about completed and ongoing urban development projects.
Urban development demand in bad kissingen
Projects since 1988, the city has been implementing projects with the city construction requirement. 14 million euros in subsidies were given for the project. Among other things, the design of the savings bank area and the construction of the central parking garage, the conversion of the tattersall from an indoor riding arena to an event hall, the renovation of the old town hall and the conversion of the former barracks and the u.S. Housing area to the north-east district have been demanded so far.
Lower franconia in 2018, more money than ever was allocated for urban development: 46 million euros were allocated for lower franconia. In 2019, the volume will remain at a similar level of 45 million euros. According to ehmann, this shows how important the federal government and the state take the urban development requirement. Higher subsidies needed to compensate for rising construction prices.