Meet and greet at the AGFS Congress 2018

Once again, the AGFS (Working Group of Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly Cities, Municipalities and Districts in NRW) had put together an informative and interesting program in cooperation with the P3 Agency. This year, everything revolved around the topic of “Infrastructure: Concrete!” at the congress in the Congress Center West of Messe Essen, which was moderated as usual by the journalist Tom Hegermann with aplomb. With around 500 participants, the AGFS Congress is one of the most important events on future and local mobility in Germany.

With regard to digitalization and automation in transport, one thing is certain: the basis of our mobility is and remains a functioning, safe and efficient infrastructure. That is why the organizers made this topic the focus of the congress. Road traffic infrastructure was addressed in keynote speeches and statements on detailed solutions. For example, Dipl.-Ing. Michael Dinter, head of traffic planning and intelligent traffic systems at AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH, spoke about “Challenges to mobility – today and in the future”. “Mobility and infrastructure – rethought” was the topic of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Lühder from Münster University of Applied Sciences. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Wündrich, Landschaftsplanung Wündrich showed best practice examples from all over the world in his presentation “The greened city”.

At the “Forum Infrastructure” offered in the afternoon, Ruben Loendersloot (Loendersloot Groep – verkeer + meer) then proved in his presentation “Bicycle Streets – made in NL” how simple a good (bicycle) infrastructure can look – if you only want it to! Results of the “AGFS-Planerwerkstatt” were shown by Patricia Reich/City of Unna and Thomas Ide/City of Gladbeck. Away from the tight corset of various regulations, sensible solutions for livable inner-city transport connections can be found. “Finally! – The environmentally friendly, water-permeable asphalt pavement” – this was the title of the presentation by Dipl.-Ing. Lukas Renken/RWTH Aachen. It is to be hoped that this sustainable product, which offers many advantages over traditional methods, will soon be used in series production.
The closing statements were made by Thomas Semmelmann, Chairman of the General German Bicycle Club NRW with the demand “Radland NRW – Bauen jetzt!” and Hendrik Wüst, Minister of Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, who gave a brief outlook on the measures of state policy to promote (local) mobility in NRW.

There was also something to celebrate: this year, the AGFS can look back on 25 years of successful work for sustainable, revitalized and livable cities. This activity is financed by funds from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, membership fees from local authorities and support from “Unternehmen FahrRad!”, an initiative of the AGFS , which ten companies and institutions – including WSM Walter Solbach Metallbau GmbH for many years – have joined. The general goal of “Unternehmen FahrRad!” is to promote cycling. This is done at various levels: in political dialog with the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Ministry of Transport, in the involvement of “Unternehmen FahrRad!” in the work of the AGFS, and in the concrete planning and implementation of projects.

Following the congress, the “German Bicycle Award 2018” was awarded in a festive event.