Workshop

Using law against the solid line of cars

Using law against the solid line of cars

Changing Cities
Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei
Kiezblocks Karlsruhe

We show the general legal and political context as well as the forces of inertia that stand in the way of the mobility transition in Germany. What needs to change in order to distribute space fairly and shape the mobility transition? What options are there for action? The initiatives Kiezblocks Karlsruhe and Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei present their approaches.

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We show the general legal and political context as well as the forces of inertia that stand in the way of the mobility transition in Germany. What needs to change in order to distribute space fairly and shape the mobility transition? What options are there for action? The initiatives Kiezblocks Karlsruhe and Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei present their approaches.

Block 1: Insight into the legal basis and need for action

Charlotte, Luisa and Tessa briefly present the legal basis (StVG/StVO, road law, approaches such as the Berlin Mobility Act) and the associated challenges (e.g. car-centricity, restrictions on municipal freedom of action, land use conflicts). In this context, the necessity of a reform from an ecological and feminist perspective will also be discussed, as well as the (political) forces of persistence against change in the law of the mobility transition (for example: failure of the StVG and StVO amendment) and discussed with the participants.

Block 2: Presentation of Kiezblocks Karlsruhe

Gabriel introduces the Kiezblocks Karlsruhe initiative. A Kiezblock (more commonly known as a superblock) is an urban neighborhood without through traffic. The roads are mainly used by pedestrians, cyclists and local public transport. Neighbourhood blocks already exist in several cities and can already be designed on the basis of the existing legal situation. Due to the existing legal situation, however, there is great resistance to overcome here. Considerable efforts are needed to counter the inertial forces in road traffic authorities, public order offices and other bodies. The response of Kiezblocks Karlsruhe and similar groups in other cities is to constantly highlight the potential for change and to seek support from residents and other groups. In principle, however, the initiative believes that structural reforms are needed to ensure greater openness in administrations to changes in street spaces. The relevant experiences and solutions will be presented from the perspective of the Kiezblocks Karlsruhe initiative and discussed with the participants.

Block 3: Berlin Autofrei (Car-Free Berlin)

Philipp then presents the referendum Berlin Autofrei, which goes a little further: with the "Law for public welfare-oriented road use", Berlin Autofrei wants to reduce the number of cars within the Berlin S-Bahn ring (environmental zone) by two thirds and thus self-make the mobility transition in Berlin with direct-democratic means. The first round of signatures was successfully completed in summer 2021. Since then, the law has been under review by the interior administration and the Constitutional Court. A central aspect of the project, in addition to the massive environmental benefits and the prevention of accidents, is the creation of spatial justice in Berlin. No other mode of transport takes up so much public space almost free of charge with such a low transport capacity. While people can no longer afford their flats in Kreuzberg, the cars are parked there for free (>90% of their lifetime). The initiative therefore also sees the law as a stop sign for the car industry, showing that it can no longer use cities as storage spaces for its space-consuming product. The law thus creates space for a different urban design. Since last year, there has also been a master's thesis from the Chair of Urban Design at the TU, which clearly demonstrates the urban development potential of a car-reduced city. You can find the study, the draft bill and all written submissions in the ongoing review procedure here.

Summary: What challenges and problems arise at all three levels? How to deal with it?

Workshop organizers

Tessa Hillermann, Charlotte Jawurek, Luisa Schneider (Legal Team Changing Cities)
Philipp Schulte (Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei)
Gabriel Wilkes (Kiezblocks Karlsruhe)

Here is the presenter bio.
Mon 6:14 - 0:00 StadtWERKSTATT
Workshop