Future Mobility - FuMob

Public communication and information in planning and realization of future mobility concepts

The UFO sub-project Future Mobility (FuMob) focuses on demands, potentials, and limits of public communication in the context of introducing new mobility concepts. The aim of FuMob is to develop new approaches for the planning and implementation of infrastructure decisions with systematic and sustainable inclusion of stakeholders (citizens, decision makers, experts, etc.) in the planning process.  


In contrast to the egalitarian planning in the last century, recent planning uses citizen participation as a tool to improve the quality and acceptance of planning processes. Infrastructure projects like Stuttgart21 or the Campusbahn in Aachen (an electric tram that should connect two districts of the German City Aachen) are well-documented cases for communication conflicts between planners, politicians, the economy, and citizens. In Aachen, these conflicts resulted in a refusal of the Campusbahn by citizens' decision.  

Gendered urban planning and transportation planning thus analyzes interviews with parties involved in planning as well as with other groups of persons publicly supporting or rejecting the Campusbahn. On the one hand, an actor analysis focuses on the identification of central stakeholders, their profiles, and networks. A discourse analytic perspective illustrates different subject positions (opinion leadership, power relations) and different communication skills as well as different communication conditions in planning processes. Triangulating the results of both approaches provides a better understanding of the interrelation between involved parties and potential communication conflicts. 

German Linguistics examines public discourses on infrastructure projects by applying methods of discourse analysis. The primary focus will be on identifying arguments whose claim is controversially evaluated  by various discourse participants. In collaboration with the chair of Textlinguistics and Technical Communication, discourse analysis and text mining methods are combined to semi-automatically identify arguments and their use in large corpora as well as create and visualize argument topographies. 
Communication Science focuses on the examination of citizens' mobility requirements taking perceptions and opinions as well as processes of decision-making on major infrastructure projects into consideration. The aim is to explore gender-specific mobility needs across the life span and to identify people's individual demands and wishes with respect to present and future mobility in urban spaces.
From a technology-oriented perspective, communication and acceptance examinations generate implications for designing, improving, and developing information systems for integrated mobility. Furthermore, the potential of information and communication technology to generate incentives for the usage of alternative mobility modes are going to be examined. 



Simon Himmel

Wiktoria Wilkowska

Project supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Jakobs
Professur für Textlinguistik und Technikkommunikation
RWTH Aachen University
Templergraben 83, 52062 Aachen
+49 241 80 93563

Prof. Dr. Dirk Vallée

Institut für Stadtbauwesen und Stadtverkehr

RWTH Aachen University

Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen

+49 241 80 25200

Project partners:

Prof. Dr. Mathias Jarke / Dr. Karl-Heinz Krempels, Lehrst. für Informationssysteme und Datenbanken, RWTH Aachen

Prof. Dr. Carmen Leicht-Scholten, Gender and Diversity in den Ingenieurwissenschaften, RWTH Aachen

Prof. Dr. Thomas Niehr, Germanistische Sprachwissenschaft, RWTH Aachen

Prof. Dr. Martina Ziefle / Dr. Katrin Arning, Human-Computer Interaction Center, Lehrst. für Communication Science, RWTH Aachen