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Sebastian Ibold

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Sebastian Ibold is Project Director of the project "Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport".

Update: 20.3.2020 // Reflections on Cycling, Public Space and Introduction of Proposed Conceptual Framework for Transport Sector Response to COVID-19 based on Avoid-Shift-Improve Approach On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. It is highly likely that the corona virus outbreak will have longer-term impacts to our individual behavior and lifestyle, the way we work, consume and travel. Transport and in particular public transport are on the one hand a vector for global and local distribution of the virus. On the other hand, public transport is severely impacted by travel bans and individual concerns in order to avoid public gatherings leading to plummeting ridership and reduced travel and transport demand. Furthermore, in recent days, many countries have closed their borders and imposed curfews – resulting in sharp reductions in transport demand also in regional and continental level. Due to the virus outbreak, many workplaces…

The way urban transport and the mobility industry have changed in the last years has no similar precedence. Traditionally, private cars and public transport have been the common choice for urban mobility, now enlarged by a plethora of new app-based mobility services such as ride-hailing or scooter-sharing which have permeated our cities. More recently, the focus is moving towards promoting innovations in public transport against car-based solutions in urban environments, also in China. For decades, China has invested in the development and expansion of its public transport infrastructure including High-Speed Railway (HSR), subway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. But China also has promoted public transport innovation, in particular in the field of vehicle automation. A new approach to urban transport is the trackless tram, also known as Autonomous Rail Transit (ART), which caught the attention of the international transport community when it was unveiled by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) in 2017. Trackless Tram in the city of Zhuzhou, Source: CRRC Zhuzhou Institute What are trackless trams? The trackless tram combines the capabilities…

All over the world, many cities are facing increasing levels of traffic congestion, road safety issues, as well as carbon and air pollutant emissions. In particular, the better integration of transport and urban planning is seen as a key to mitigate these effects and to create more livable cities. To promote smart and integrated urban mobility planning, the European Commission, in 2013, published the “Guidelines on Developing and Implementing A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan”. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, also known as SUMP, aim at satisfying the mobility needs of people and businesses while improving the quality of life. The SUMP concept has been successfully applied in various countries around the world. In order to adapt to the current mobility trends, such as vehicle automation, vehicle electrification, shared mobility and their implications in the public transport systems, the SUMP guidelines were recently updated in their second edition, which you can find…

by Sebastian Ibold and Jingzhu Li Contents Background Long-Term Strategic Development of China’s Transport Sector in Two Phases Nine Key Tasks to Implement the Outline for Building China’s Strength in TransportSummary Background On September 19th, 2019, the Outline for Building China’s Strength in Transport was released. The document was approved by the Communist Party of China Central Committee (CPCCC) and the State Council and describes the future vision and roadmap of China’s transport sector with a clear message: China wants to become a global transport superpower by 2050. The original text of the policy can be found here. The first mention to the Outline for Building China’s Strength in Transport dates back to January 18th, 2017, when the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) held a kick-off meeting on “strategic research on China’s strength in transportation”. The policy was since then elaborated by a drafting group headed by Vice Premier Liu…

According to Katie Melua, there are nine-million bicycles in Beijing – and the city is working on bringing bicycles back to the roads by making cycling more safe and thus convenient. But Beijing is also exploring new ways to make cycling more attractive. In May 2019, the city’s first “bicycle highway” was opened to the public. The 6.5 km long partially elevated cycling-only road, which was designed by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT), is connecting Huilongguan and the Zhongguancun High-Tech Area in Northern Beijing, offering safe, convenient and fast traveling to more than 8,000 commuters daily. Beijing’s First Bicycle Highway *If problems with playing the video occur, this may be due to country-specific internet restrictions. Back to the Kingdom of Bicyle Not so long ago, bikes were ubiquitous in China. As the dominating form of transportation, for the wealthy and working classes alike, the country had more than…

The 3rd World Transport Convention (WTC 2019) took place from 13-16 June in Beijing under the theme “Green and Intelligent Mobility for Future Transport”. The WTC 2019, which was organized by the China Highway and Transportation Society (CHTS), provided a platform to international organizations and academics as well as more than 6,000 participants and 50,000 visitors to debate, share experiences, and to explore collaboration potentials. The programme included various keynote speeches, a transport expo as well as more than 600 technical sessions and 60 forums focusing on topics such as non-motorized and smart transportation, shared mobility, and autonomous driving. The Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transportation project (CLCT) supported the WTC 2019 with co-organizing panels on the topics of urban cycling, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), green and smart ports as well as Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP). Urban Cycling – Key to People-oriented Mobility Mr. Jörg Thiemann-Linden, traffic planner, designated…

Systematic and integrated transport planning is key to achieving low-carbon transport systems in cities. Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning can help cities to overcome institutional barriers by shifting from comprehensive transport planning with a focus on infrastructure towards integrated and climate-friendly mobility planning. On 25 April 2019, GIZ, together with the Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development (IESD), the Yinchuan Development and Reform Commission, the Yinchuan Foreign Affairs Office, and various local government departments, jointly organized a one-day technical workshop in the Chinese city of Yinchuan on the concept of SUMP. The aim of the workshop was to jointly elaborate on how SUMP can contribute to a more sustainable development of Yinchuan’s transport and mobility system and to conduct an in-depth exchange on the status quo of Yinchuan’s transport system and its future development pathway. Yinchuan, a forerunner in innovation and sustainable urban development Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui…

With the fast-paced development of the Chinese logistics sector and the booming Chinese freight industry, road   and highway freight volume have been growing 5.9% (to 8.19 billion tonnes) and 10.2% year-on-year respectively. To fully understand the transportation and logistics sector’s environmental and climate impact, systematically calculating, assessing and reporting the carbon footprint of the sector are crucial. The development of sound, comprehensive and accurate calculation tools and practices will greatly contribute to achieving a green and low-carbon transport sector in China and to meeting the country’s commitment of peaking carbon emissions around the year 2030. Aiming at creating a better understanding of the current system for calculating emissions of the Chinese logistics industry, to introduce effective tools and methodologies, and to exchange on best practices from Europe and China, the Smart Freight Forum – Logistics Emission Calculation Tools and Practice was held on 27 March 2019 in Beijing.  The forum…

The second Transport and Climate Change (TCC) Week, which included the Climate Action in Mobility Conference (CAMC), highlighted the importance and need of a transformational change in the transport sector to limit global warming by developing climate-friendly solutions. It was hosted by GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in Berlin from 24 to 28 September 2018. This year’s event focused on digital mobility, new business models and innovative planning in the transport sector. Nearly 200 experts and officials from ministries, institutions and city authorities from 20 countries, many from developing and emerging economies, exchanged their experiences in shaping the transport sector and discussed how to achieve a paradigm shift in transport around the world. The TCC Week started with a series of workshops on various topics in the field of sustainable transport, initiating expert dialogues with colleagues from around the…

The evolution of free-floating bike-sharing in China Authors: Sebastian Ibold, Dr. Christoph Nedopil Review: Sandra Retzer, Tina Huang, Florian Ibold Since the explosive growth of free-floating bike-sharing in China starting in 2016, it has been described as one of the country’s hottest industries. China’s official state-run press agency Xinhua called it one of the “four great new inventions” in modern times (the other three being e-commerce, high-speed rail and mobile-payment). The bike-sharing industry was praised for providing a healthy lifestyle and a key to achieve more sustainable urban transport systems, with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution significantly. The expectations put on free-floating bike-sharing were no less than reviving the “kingdom of bicycles”. But instead of a smooth bike-ride, the bike sharing industry in China has experienced nothing short of a roller-coaster ride: From 2016 onwards, a growing number of start-ups entered the bike-sharing market, resulting…

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