AGFS (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fußgänger- und fahrradfreundlicher Städte, Gemeinden und Kreise in NRW), in cooperation with P3 Agentur, once again compiled an informative and interesting programme. This year the theme of the conference at the Congress Center West Trade Show in Essen (Germany), which was masterfully moderated by journalist Tom Hegermann as usual, revolved around ‘Infrastructure: concrete!’ With about 500 participants, the AGFS conference is one of the most important events on future and local mobility in Germany.
One thing is certain with regard to digitalisation and automation in traffic: The foundation of our mobility remains a functioning, safe and efficient infrastructure. Therefore the organisers of the conference focused on this theme. The keynotes and statements regarding detailed solutions particularly discussed the road infrastructure. Michael Dinter, BEng, head of transport planning and intelligent traffic systems at AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH, lectured about ‘Challenges to Mobility – Today and in the Future’. ‘Mobility and Infrastructure – redefined’ was the subject discussed by Prof. of Engineering Martin Luehder from the college in Muenster. In his speech ‘The green city’, Thomas Wuendrich, BEng, Landschaftsplanung Wündrich, demonstrated best practice examples from all over the world.
In the ‘Infrastructure Forum’, which was offered in the afternoon, Ruben Loendersloot (Loendersloot Groep – verkeer + meer) proved in his presentation ‘Cycle Ways – made in NL’, how easy good (cycling) infrastructure can be – if you really want it! The results of the ‘AGFS Planner Workshop’ were presented by Patricia Reich/City of Unna and Thomas Ide/City of Gladbeck. Away from the tight strictures of various regulations, sensible, livable solutions for urban transport links can be found. ‘Finally! – The ecofriendly, water-permeable pavement’ – was the presentation from Lukas Renken (BEng)/RWTH Aachen. It is to be hoped that this sustainable product, with its many advantages over traditional processes, will soon find use in mass production. Thomas Semmelmann, Chairman of the ‘Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrradclub NRW’ with his demand for ‘Cycling Country NRW – Build now!’ and Hendrik Wuest, Minister for Transport in Nordrhein-Westfalen, gave the closing statements.
We also had something to celebrate: This year the AGFS can look back on 25 years of successfully working to achieve sustainable, busy and livable cities. Funding for this activity was provided by funds from the state of NRW, membership contributions from the municipalities and support from the ‘Unternehmen FahrRad!’, an initiative of the AGFS, of which 10 companies and institutions are members, including for many years the WSM Walter Solbach Metallbau GmbH. The overall goal of ‘Unternehmen FahrRad!’ is the promotion of cycle traffic. This occurs on several levels: through political dialogue with the state government of Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Federal Ministry of Transport, the involvement of Unternehmen FahrRad! in the activities of the AGFS, as well as the concrete planning and realisation of projects.
At a gala event after the conference, the ‘Deutscher Fahrradpreis 2018’ (German Bicycle Award) was presented.