Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography Research Research projects
Societal Transformation in a Digital Society – Raising Awareness for the Participation in a Sustainable and Inclusive Mobility Transition

Societal Transformation in a Digital Society – Raising Awareness for the Participation in a Sustainable and Inclusive Mobility Transition

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Christiane Meyer (IDN) and Dr. Kerstin Schäfer (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Kulturgeographie)
Team:  Jonas Koch (IDN), Tomke van Hove (IDN) and Dmitry Boyko (IWKG)
Year:  2021
Funding:  Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK)
Duration:  2021-2024


This project is a cooperation between the Institute for Science Education and the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography. The sub-project at IDN will consider with multipliers in the education sector and with young people how a development and use of mobility apps can be realised in an inclusive and sustainable way.

Project description

In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), like “Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” This goal also includes mobility. The current mobility transition driven by computer science technologies, in particular mobility apps, changes the way we use transport. On the one hand this trend offers the opportunity to promote sustainable transport. On the other hand there is a risk of excluding less tech-savy or otherwise excluded user groups. The lack of public awareness for potentially discrimination through mobility apps needs to be tackled and its necessary to discuss how to make them inclusice und accessible. We, as a society, need to be included next to app developers, mobility service providers, and local transport planning authorities to decide about the functionalities of these apps.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the UNESCO-program “Education for Sustainable Education” provide frameworks to achieve the SDGs. Thus teachers and other actors in the education sector are called upon to raise awareness of the transformation to an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable society and to help shape this in educational contexts. Especially young people are current and future agents in the use of transport. Hence, it is important to encourage their participation in the sustainable transformation. In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the interrelationships between such processes as the mobility transition and digitization on the part of the young people, one of the fundamental principles of ESD is participation in planning and implementation at local and regional level.

The sub-project aims at determining the perspectives of teachers and actors in the education sector as well as of young people on the digitization of mobility and the development of corresponding apps with regard to social exclusion and participation in the development of mobile mobility offers. For this purpose, different qualitative research methods are implemented in the regions of Hamburg and Hanover: interviews, focus groups and a transdisciplinary workshop. The project is linked to the TRUST research center.