Smart on the road: The Technology Park manages its sustainable growth with a mobility concept

15. September 2021

Smart on the road

The Technology Park manages its sustainable growth with a mobility concept

L. Becker mit Sensor © WISTA Management GmbH

Lukas Becker holding one of the sensors that measure environmental data and traffic flows in Adlershof © WISTA Management GmbH

The technology campus is growing steadily. But so are the problems with traffic. Using a smart mobility concept, WISTA now plans to turn the wheel to help the site to grow sustainably for the benefit of its staff, residents, students, and the environment.

If things go particularly badly during rush hour, drivers can find themselves standing on Rudower Chaussee for about an hour. This is not something that makes a location more attractive. For this reason, WISTA Management GmbH is now working on an innovative transport concept in cooperation with partners from policy, research, and business. The resulting measures are to be implemented by 2030. Because one thing is certain: It won’t improve by itself. Because, economically, things are going well.

“Despite the pandemic, the site has grown by six percent last year,” says Lukas Becker, who is responsible for WISTA’s mobility projects. “Flexible and efficient mobility is indispensable for the development and economic performance of the site, especially if we keep up the average yearly increase in staff of 6.5 percent.” To put it bluntly: It’s getting crowded. Time for smart solutions. “We strive to reconcile economic growth and climate protection,” says Becker with determination.

To make it work, Becker envisions three steps: conventional solutions such as improving public transportation, innovative approaches like smart traffic control, and, as he calls it, “soft facts”. Meaning soft measures that may include flexible work hours and working from home. “Mobile work has really helped us in this regard,” says Becker gladly.

Developing promising solutions for the future and drawing the right conclusions, however, requires a good data foundation used to analyse traffic flows, peak times, preferred modes of transportation, and environmental data. A wireless network called LoRaWAN could be used for continuous mobility monitoring on location. However, it has turned out to be difficult to supply the necessary sensors with electricity, required to transmit the traffic data, and to obtain the necessary permits to install them in public places. "Support from the district and the state would be desirable at this point in order to obtain a solid data foundation for further planning," says Becker. Additionally, these data could help with smart route planning in the future, for example, by telling motorists to leave the office 20 minutes later to avoid getting in a traffic jam—meaning they would still arrive home half an hour earlier.

An overall decrease in car traffic would, of course, be preferable. One of many measures to this end is to make the location more attractive for bikers by setting up repair stations or, the newest trend, bike parking garages. The so-called “Fietsen Trommeln” are a dry and safe way of storing up to 15 bikes. Initially, three times five of these garages will be purchased. The monthly rent for a parking space will be around 20 euros.

WISTA is also investing in e-mobility, starting with equipping underground parking spaces with charging stations, which can then be rented for 85 euros a month, so that companies and institutes can charge their own electric vehicles (or those of their employees) at any given time. The first spaces have been available since August. “What can be done quickly is done,” notes Becker.

Plans to further integrate Adlershof into the Jelbi network are firming up. Jelbi is a mobility app that can be used to buy public transportation tickets and book sharing vehicles ranging from scooters to cars with just a single click. Based on real-time traffic data, the app suggests ways to get to the desired destination quickly, conveniently, and cheaply. A new tram will also be a part of this soon. A 2.7-kilometre route will close the gap in the tram network between Schöneweide and the northern part of the Technology Park. Additionally, shorter bus times are being discussed, which would also strengthen the public transportation options around the site.

As we can see: Adlershof’s transition to cleaner mobility is in full swing. The knowledge gathered here will not only be applied to other WISTA locations, but also provide a concept for more flexible, efficient and sustainable mobility solutions at other national and international technology locations.

Chris Löwer for Adlershof Journal

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