Urban Future Outline & Future Mobility


Urban Future Outline

Urban Future Outline, short UFO, a research project funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments, aims to establish a platform for research on urban spaces. It is located at the interdisciplinary Project House HumTec RWTH Aachen University. The UFO sub-project Future Mobility focuses on demands, potentials and limits of public communication in the context of introducing new mobility concepts.


Future Mobility - FuMob: Public communication and information in planning and realization of future mobility concepts

The aim of Future Mobility is to develop new approaches for the planning and implementation of infrastructure decisions with a systematic and sustainable inclusion of stakeholders like citizens, decision makers and experts in the planning process.

In contrast to the egalitarian planning in the last century, recent planning uses citizen participation as a tool to improve the quality and acceptance pf planning processes. Infrastructure projects like Stuttgart21 or the Campusbahn in Aachen are well-documented cases for communication conflicts between planners, politicians, the economy, and citizens. The result of these conflicts in Aachen led to a refusal of the Campusbahn by citizens’ decision.

Gendered urban planning and transportation planning thus analyses interviews with involved parties in planning and other person groups publicly supporting or rejecting the Campusbahn. On the one hand an actor analysis focus on the identification of central stakeholders, their profiles, and networks. A discourse analytic perspective illustrates different subject positions, and different communication skills as well as different communication conditions in planning processes. Triangulating the results of both approaches provides a better understanding of the interrelation between involved parties and potential communication conflicts.

German Linguistics examines public discourses on infrastructure projects by applying methods of discourse analysis. The primary focus will be on identifying arguments whose claim is controversially evaluated by various discourse participants. In collaboration with the chair of Textlinguistics and Technical Communication, discourse analysis and text mining methods are combined to semi-automatically identify arguments and their use in large corpora as well as create and visualize argument topographies. 

Communication science focuses on the examination of citizens' mobility requirements taking perceptions and opinions as well as processes of decision-making on major infrastructure projects into consideration. The aim is to explore gender-specific mobility needs across the life span and to identify peoples' individual demands and wishes with respect to the present and future mobility in urban spaces. 

From a technology oriented perspective, communication and acceptance examinations generate implications for designing, improving and developing information systems for integrated mobility. Furthermore, potentials of information and communication technology, concerning generating incentives for the usage of alternative mobility modes, are going to be examined.


Project speakers

  • Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Jakobs, Chair of Textlinguistics and Technical Communication, RWTH Aachen University
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Vallée, Chair and Institute of Urban and Transportation Planning, RWTH Aachen University

Project partners

  • Prof. Dr. Mathias Jarke / Dr. Karl-Heinz Krempels, Chair of Computer Science 5 - Information Systems, RWTH Aachen University
  • Prof. Dr. Carmen Leicht-Scholten, Gender and Diversity in Engineering, RWTH Aachen University
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Niehr, German Linguistics, RWTH Aachen University
  • Prof. Dr. Martina Ziefle / Dr. Katrin Arning, Human-Computer Interaction Center,Chair of Communication Science, RWTH Aachen University