The “finale” of the BMW Group Dialogues worldwide event series in Berlin shows that city-dwellers around the globe expect the BMW Group to shape urban mobility in diverse and sustainable ways.
Within just over ten years, the United Nations projects that nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities – underlining more than ever that urban living still has a future, with all the opportunities and difficulties it entails. Because if the future belongs to the city, how do more and more people get to work, go shopping, meet up with friends – safely, conveniently and flexibly – and enjoy the many attractions the metropolises of the world will surely offer in the future? What kind of traffic concepts might they use? And, most importantly of all: How can we organise mobility so that it doesn’t harm urban living spaces – for example, through too many roads or carparks, traffic noise or by threatening our climate?
To find forward-looking answers to fundamental questions like these, the BMW Group hosts BMW Group Dialogues in major cities around the world. This year, they invited representatives of cities, companies, institutes and universities, as well as residents in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Shenzhen, Rotterdam and Berlin, to join in a constructive dialogue on the topic of “Cities in Progress”. This short video here provides an overview of the event series. The core topic: How does mobility need to develop in these cities and how can the BMW Group contribute?
At the Dialogue in Los Angeles in June (report), the BMW Group launched a cooperation with the non-profit Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). LACI works closely with start-ups to actively promote the green economy and disseminate clean technologies more rapidly.
In Melbourne in July (report), BMW Group Australia awarded five scholarships in cooperation with the Swinburne University of Technology to students at the college interested in the subject of sustainable urban mobility.
The Shenzhen Dialogue was held in August, in parallel with the Youth Mobility Camp, and was designed to inspire young talents to develop their visions for future mobility. The BMW Group is working with the China Sustainable Transportation Centre (CSTC) and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) in this area. This year, BMW China also began working with Shenzhen’s Municipal Office of Foreign Affairs, the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation and Shenzhen University
The event in Rotterdam (report) in September showed how initial measures are already being implemented: At the BMW Group Dialogue held there, representatives of the city and the BMW Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), committing to tackle the challenges of the energy transition with concrete projects over the next three years and contribute towards implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Although each event discussed different problems, approaches, possibilities and initiatives, all showed quite clearly that city residents expect the BMW Group to provide a wider range of mobility services. This is also confirmed by studies conducted in parallel with each of the events, which found that the BMW Group should also prioritise development and production of emission-free vehicles – and do so in the most climate-neutral way possible.
“We see the BMW Group Dialogues as an important foundation for shaping the future of urban mobility. The input we get from city residents and decision-makers encourages us to design our products and services so that they make a major, forward-looking contribution towards solving challenges in urban areas worldwide,” underlined Dr.-Ing. Joachim Kolling, head of Mobility and Energy Services BMW Group, at the final event in the series in Berlin in October.
At this last BMW Group Dialogue of the year, the BMW Group also presented a number of exemplary projects and initiatives the company has launched in the German capital to gain further experience. These include the platform New Mobility Berlin (report), which gives residents the opportunity to get to know the many facets of new mobility concepts better and become more aware of alternative ways of using public space.