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Sustainability strategy presented: Bonn wants fewer cars in city center

Sustainability strategy presented : Bonn wants fewer cars in city center

The city presented its new sustainability strategy on Wednesday with Lord Mayor Sridharan keen to show that the plan involved concrete examples. One of them would be to reduce the percentage of cars in the city from 42 to 36 percent.

The Bonn city administration presented the new sustainability strategy of the city of Bonn on Wednesday. A desire for a unified approach was unmistakable. Last week, the city council approved the new strategy proposal with a large majority. The strategic plan had been developed over more than two years together with people representing civil society, the political, scientific and business branches.

This work was followed by a political consultation process lasting several months in which specialist committees were involved. In addition to comprehensive sustainability guidelines describing a scenario for 2030, the strategy contains measures for the next three to five years. Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan said that he wanted to show that the strategy was not just a “paper tiger,” something that looks good on paper but has no bite. All of the top management of the city stands behind the sustainability goals.

"This is not just a task for the Environmental Agency.” In the six fields of action: Mobility, Climate and Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, Labor and Economy, Social Participation and Gender as well as Global Responsibility and One World, the 17 sustainability goals of the UN Agenda 2030 are to be implemented locally. Sridharan said the plan involved concrete projects, and he had asked his colleagues for practical examples.

Digitalization, for example, should help in terms of providing online forms or supporting those who work from home or getting school children to become more active. City director Wolfgang Fuchs announced that the share of hybrid and electric cars in the city's vehicle fleet would rise from 15 to 20 percent by next year. Sridharan is setting a good example with a VW Passat GTE, a hybrid company car.

Financial transactions are to be conducted only with banks that operate sustainably, explained Fuchs. Helmut Wiesner, Head of Transport, Building and Planning, is focusing above all on a change in the use of means of transport. Car traffic is to be reduced from 42 to 36 percent. He would also like to see the S 13 extended into the Bundesviertel (federal district) and connected to a cable car going over the Rhine and to the Venusberg. Commuter bike routes through the Rheinaue could become reality more quickly: There, the Bonn administration is currently preparing applications for subsidies, for which the infrastructure would have to be built by 2022.

Bonn’s green spaces are also to be included, with an eye towards protecting species and networking the areas with each other. This would also make the city more resistant to the consequences of global warming, Wiesner hoped. At the same time, affordable living space should be created wherever possible. Environmental associations criticized the strategy as not ambitious enough while some political groups attached financial stipulations to the plan and others did not support it.

Orig. text: Martin Wein
Translation: ck