Ten Stories. | 16.07.2021
Ten Stories: An interview with Mayor Eckart Würzner.
According to a survey, around 98 percent of citizens feel good in Heidelberg. Is it the high recreational value in a prime location, the offers for families or the world-famous Old Town? There are certainly many answers to this question.
One who deals with it on a daily basis is Heidelberg’s Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner. In this interview, he gives us insights into the development of urban mobility in Heidelberg, the role of e-bikes in it and explains why Coboc is typical Heidelberg.
Coboc: What could the future of urban mobility in Heidelberg look like?
Eckart Würzner: In Heidelberg, we are on a very good path: 80% of Heidelberg residents use bicycles or public transport for their daily journeys. We must continue to increase this proportion. We want to further improve the services for cyclists and public transport and make them more attractive so that many people leave their cars at home or – even better – even deregister. For this reason, the city will spend 9.2 million euros in 2021/22 alone to expand the bicycle infrastructure with cycle paths, parking garages and parking facilities. We also want to make public transport even more sustainable. In the future, Heidelberg’s roads should only be used by e-buses – I am committed to this. In urban development, we have to create spaces where living, working and living are close together. We have already done this in Bahnstadt – a district of short distances. First and foremost, urban, forward-looking mobility in Heidelberg is characterised by a good mobility mix. Whether for short distances within the city centre or commuter routes – we need an ecological and uncomplicated offer for all distances. We should focus on offers instead of bans – that is more effective.
C: In your opinion, what role do e-bikes play in the development of urban mobility?
EW: Especially for commuters, we need to create even more attractive alternatives for getting to Heidelberg in an environmentally friendly way. E-bikes play a very important role here. That’s why we’re working with the region and other cities to develop cycling expressways that will enable people to get from A to B quickly and ecologically by e-bike. The advantages are manifold: the climate is protected, traffic jams are avoided and the quality of life in the cities increases.
C: What relevance do companies like Coboc have for Heidelberg as a business location?
EW: Innovative companies like Coboc that believe in their own vision and also implement it sustainably symbolise and strengthen Heidelberg as a business and knowledge location. Coboc is typical Heidelberg: impulses from science are successfully integrated into the economy. I am very pleased that Coboc will enrich our Heidelberg Innovation Park – this is exactly the mix of innovation, high-tech, community and transformation that can be found here. An ideal location for bold, creative and innovative ideas and start-ups.
C: How did you become aware of Coboc?
EW: Coboc was one of the first tenants in Department 16. Our municipal cultural and creative industries centre in the Alte Feuerwache provides the necessary structures and services for innovative companies like these to get off the ground. Coboc shows how start-ups can grow and develop in Heidelberg.
C: What excites you about Coboc and our e-bikes?
EW: As a passionate cyclist, I am interested not only in sport and exercise, but above all in the combination of technology, functionality and design. It’s simply fun to ride a bike. Especially on my often very busy workdays, I really enjoy the short rides through the city between appointments whenever I can. And riding an e-bike “Designed in Heidelberg” is of course particularly good.
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