The research group CIMT investigates the chances and challenges of involving citizens in political decisions in the context of sustainable mobility transitions. CIMT is an acronym for Citizen Involvement in Mobility Transitions.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Mobility is one of the major challenges of the transformation to a more sustainable society. Car traffic is not only responsible for around a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, but also carries numerous social costs from noise, traffic jams and accidents. A redistribution of public space away from cars to buses, trains, bicycles and walking is therefore urgently needed – not just for ecological reasons. In practice, however, the transport transition regularly encounters resistance. To what extent can these problems be solved in local communities through the consultative participation of citizens in mobility planning?

Our focus are local planning processes (both formal and informal) that aim to expand sustainable mobility. We investigate under what circumstances the involvement of citizens enables municipalities to increase the quality of political decisions on the one hand (in particular in relation to sustainability) and the public acceptance of the necessary measures on the other. What is more, the group aims to develop (semi-)automated approaches to analyse citizen contributions in order to support the evaluation of participatory processes (more information on the project).

Our team combines the expertise of Social Sciences with Urban Planning as well as Computer Science (more about the group). We are based at the Department of Social Sciences at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. Among our collaborators are municipalities, participation consultancies and NGOs (see collaboration).

More information on our current activities can be found under news and on Twitter.

The overarching aim of the research group is to understand how and under what conditions citizen participation can contribute to sustainable development. This endeavour is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the programme “Social-Ecological Research” (FONA) for 2019 to 2024.