An Interview with Hamburg Port Authority Lutz M. Birke


Lutz-BirkeCould you briefly describe your work as the managing authority of one of the biggest ports in the world?

Since 2005, the HPA has provided future-oriented port management from a single source and takes care of the Port of Hamburg’s security and efficiency. The HPA meets the port’s growing demands with intelligent and innovative solutions. Responsible for resource-saving and sustainable planning and execution of the port’s infrastructure measures, the HPA is also the point of contact for questions regarding waterside and landside infrastructure, the security and efficiency of ship traffic, the dock railway, and economic conditions in the port. Further, it safeguards the port’s interests at a national and international level. The challenge for the future is to continue the path of digitalization of the port set by the smartPORT initiative and to implement the respective Projects.

How do you define sustainability in your own work?

To make the Port of Hamburg “greener” and more prosperous – that is the challenge we are facing. Avoiding emissions is a key concern of the HPA. Our own shipping fleet has been operating on sulphur-free fuels since 2009. In addition, both our own and most of the public jetties and wharves for inland waterway carriers, ferries and other service vessels in the port are equipped with shore power plugs. Solar energy and geothermal energy also play a part. Niedernfelder Ufer is home to the HPA’s state-of-the-art building that houses offices and social meeting rooms and incorporates the latest in energy efficient designs. Sustainability plays an increasingly bigger role in our daily working practices and forms an integral part of our objectives. This approach requires the courage to change practices and the commitment of everyone involved. This is the only way the HPA can meet its corporate and social responsibilities as a port operating across regions.

HPA also wants to be a role model for a sustainable port industry.

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ally app for convenient public transport – An Interview


To make collective transport more attractive to city residents the developers of the app “ally” have worked on a suitable solution to reduce individual traffic and made a contribution to a greener and more efficient public transport system.

GPSM: Could you briefly describe “ally” and how it differs from other urban mobility and local transportation apps?

Ally offers city dwellers smart navigation through their cities. Our internationally active community if commuters, open data enthusiasts and urban innovators help us to make city transport systems smoother and smarter. Thanks to our sophisticated backend infrastructure, we are able to analyse routes, schedules, prices and navigation behaviour enabling us to go one step further by offering valuable information on transport optimisation.

Ally follow


GPSM: What is your prognosis for the future of urban mobility and what impact will further digitalization and mobile technology have?

Urban mobility will be demand driven, quite similar to how we already consume media and other services today. Our goal is to reduce individual traffic and instead prioritise collective transport. This of course requires the use of innovative technology, in this case, our “transport cloud”. Mobile technology will be able to analyse precisely the supply demand balance and pave the way for data driven collective transport Solutions.

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The Future of Urban Habitation

The German Government sets New Sustainability Parameters for City Life

While the population of large cities in Germany is increasing and getting more culturally diverse, various challenges have to be met. There is a need for more workplaces and mixed living quarters that include places for integration and recreational spaces. A compact city structure should combine high-quality infrastructure and a well-suited transport system.

In this context, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) recently proposed new sustainability parameters for urban habitation. Besides new affordable living spaces and inner city workplaces, the major themes are sustainable mobility and clean air.Read more

Fast cycling infrastructure – not only for pleasure, but for daily transport

Collage_bestQuality_RVROn Nov 27, the cities of Essen and Mülheim celebrate the opening of the fast cycling way ‘RS1’, linking Mülheim Central Station and Essen’s city boundary. The first phase ensures safe cycling almost without any interruptions over a length of five kilometres.

This is just the first part of the ambitious cycle path project which will connect Duisburg and Hamm over a distance of 101 kilometres. It thereby crosses the whole Ruhrgebiet, mainly re-using old railway tracks of the area of industrialisation. Meant for every-day com muting, this cycle path is not mainly about enjoying the landscape, but leads you discover the regional heritage of the coal era from a totally new perspective. This project also carries forward the idea of Essen and the Ruhrgebiet being European Culture Capital in 2010.

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COP21: Zero and Low Carbon Mobility Ideas – Made in Germany

With its extensive climate protection strategy, Germany has provided a fertile framework for innovation. Many diverse mobility solutions have been developed and implemented by German companies, cities and initiatives. This brochure presents ten hands-on approaches to climate-friendly mobility and green logistics. It includes concrete projects in the areas of urban passenger and freight transport, Read more

New publication by UBA: “A road toll for Germany: Every kilometre counts”

The contribution of an HGV, coach and car toll to the environment-oriented financing of transport infrastructure

Autobahn_A8_HolzkirchenA distance-based toll for HGV, coaches and cars makes it possible to set differentiated charges for infrastructure and other costs incurred by society as a result of road traffic – for instance, environmental costs. Frequent drivers pay more than occasional drivers, resulting in positive ecological and traffic steering effects and which is why the use of this instrument in Germany should be expanded. The time-based vignette is not a meaningful solution, since it amounts to a flat rate charge for frequent road users and generates almost no environmental or traffic steering effects.

To read the full publication by UBA (Umweltbundesamt), the Environmental Protection Agency, please visit UBA’s website.


Match Rider – An Interview

Interview with Katina Schneider of Match Rider, an interactive ride-sharing platform designed for everyday and spontaneous trips.

TeamStressing ridesharing as a sustainable mode of transportation, Katina Schneider, Co-Founder and Business Developer of Match Rider, elaborates on specific advantages of ridesharing for commuters. Additionally, there are many opportunities for app-based or dynamic ridesharing innovation in many developing and emerging countries .

GPSM: Could you briefly describe Match Rider’s concept and explain what distinguishes you from other ridesharing platforms?

Katina Schneider: Match Rider is a web and mobile platform designed to help people share rides. It focuses on short to mid-distance routes (typically less than 100 km), especially regularly scheduled commutes. Drivers using this dynamic platform set their route and Match Rider determines the best pick-up and drop-off points along the route (called Match Points). The system works like public transportation where each Match Point has a schedule associated with it, just like a bus schedule. Passengers can book drivers at specific times and locations on our website, iOS or Android app. Signing up to Match Rider is free and passengers pay the driver a fee of 10 Eurocents per kilometer. For instance, a distance of 20 km would only cost 2 Euros, making Match Rider a very affordable form of mobility.Read more


Let’s make our cities better than ever! GPSM participated in the CIVITAS Forum 2015 in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s enchanting capital. This year’s CIVITAS Forum was themed “Sharing the City”. Advancing sustainable urban transport shall serve as the backbone of an accessible, liveable city with a high standard of living. GPSM contributed by presenting its friend’s innovative solutions, which were highly valued by city representatives as well as by planners and strategists of various other organisations, NGOs and companies.

Day 1 envisaged discussions on subjects such as bike-sharing, multimodality and travel planning, as well as introducing best practices from the CIVINET national networks and open data to improve mobility.

Day 2 offered two different sets of parallel sessions, touching on topics such as E-busses, designing urban mobility infrastructure, mobility management, and alternative fuels.

Last but not least, Day 3 brought pivotal insight on urban mobility for the next generation, company mobility management, and mobility solutions for a more inclusive city.

WP_20151007_14_33_01_Pro_ CIVITAS 2015

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“Solutions for a global challenge – Made in Germany” in the International Transportation, Issue 2, October 2015

Article from GPSM is featured in the English version of "Internationales Verkehrswesen"

International Transportation 1Under the headline “Looking ahead – Advanced transportation solutions”, the journal ‘International Transportation’ – an English version of ‘Internationales Verkehrswesen’ – issued the article “Solutions for a global challenge – Made in Germany“ (page 18-20) in their second english edition of 2015.

By gathering German knowledge and expertise, the GPSM makes a valuable contribution to the international dialogue on smart transportation and sustainable development worldwide. The friends of the GPSM already provide their services in various developing and emerging countries, whereas other members of the network develop new ideas and concepts towards sustainable transport solutions. Some of our friends’ expertise is outlined below:

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“Freedom Instead of Owning”

GPSM Panel Discussions at New Mobility World, IAA Frankfurt

That the IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) will eventually become a mobility show instead of a car trade show was one of the conclusions of the panel discussion “Sustainable Mobility through Digital Solutions” with Isabel Flores (ally), Florian Schimandl (Smartlane), Thomas Friderich (moovel) and Stephan Leppler (InnoZ). Innovative solutions might have the impact to lead a change, allowing a demand-driven planning of Transport.

Panel-IAAThe panel “Sharing mobility for greener cities and more living space” revealed that sharing a private car is not only a working model for western countries, but could also applied in developing and emerging countries as Malte Behrendt (private carsharing Tamyca) pointed out. Heiko Balsmayer (sustainable mobility association VCD) explained the importance of modal shift opportunities to make sharing models work. Valerian Seither (eMio scooter sharing) emphasised that the new status symbol is freedom rather than owning a car.

The German Partnership for Sustainable Mobility (GPSM) hosted two panels on Sharing Mobility and Sustainable Mobility through Digital Solutions at the New Mobility World of the IAA. Together with other innovative actors, GPSM presented the network and sustainable mobility concepts made in Germany with a booth in the Urban Solutions Market.

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