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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Sustainable mobility

A project to analyze how sustainable approaches to mobility and traffic planning figure in the 2013 German federal electoral campaign and its representation in the media

Matthias Heyde

Discussions on topics such as electric mobility, bicycle traffic, public transportation, car sharing, and the development of infrastructure are monitored across electoral programs, political campaigning events, lobby-organization, television interviews and all major German newspapers. By means of a discourse analysis, the project “Sustainable mobility” aims to achieve a better understanding of the concepts and the influences that shape the discourse about sustainable mobility.

First insights suggest that alternative approaches to mobility are mostly discussed as a cumbersome necessity, a threat for the German automobile industry or at best as a technological challenge. Positions that advocate reduction or sharing of mobility instead of solutions that seek for substitution of fossil energy are rarely found. Considerations such as social inclusiveness or how to best address the problem politically also take a rather marginal position in the discourse analyzed.