Key Aspects

Within the research project MoveMe six qualification works are implemented. The three dissertation projects examine the acceptance of keymeasures in transport policy (environmental psychology), the potential of digital-based mobility offers (transport planning) in different spatial categories and develop principle guidelines (architecture) for a spatial transformation in urban, suburban and rural areas of a region. Two habilitation projects complement further research perspectives on socio-spatial transformation: a sociological habilitation examines how digital mobility innovations can transform the socio-technical regime and which governance arrangements are needed; a planning science habilitation analyses spatial effects of a transformation of the transport sector and planning aspects of changes in socio-spatial systems.

PhD thesis_ Acceptance of key transport measures

Responsible: Viktoria Allert

Research Questions:

  • Which factors lead to the acceptance of transport policy measures that redivide public space or promote digital-based mobility offers?
  • How can acceptance be measured in such a way that, in addition to attitudes, active support of measures is also included as a behavioural facet of acceptance?
  • How does collective commitment for a sustainable transport transformation emerge?

The issues are being addressed using surveys and experimental methods in the region of Hannover.

The implementation of transport policy measures often fails because of a lack of support from the population, either real or feared. For instance, demands for the redistribution of public space in favour of bicycles or public transport are provoking protest among some citizens, while at the same time interest groups are formed that are committed to these changes. It is therefore important to understand which factors determine the social acceptance of transport policy measures. This is explicitly not only about the attitude of each individual, but especially about how collective opinions emerge and manifest themselves in social commitment. As can be observed in the Fridays for Future movement, collectives can shape public discourse and exert pressure on decision-makers to bring about transformation. The dissertation therefore examines how social acceptance of and collective commitment to changes for a sustainable transport transformation emerge.


PhD thesis_ Potential analysis of digital-based mobility offers

Responsible: Jan Gödde

Research Questions:

  • How can the spatial potential of the various digital mobility offers be measured?
  • How can these offers affect accessibility, especially of previously less well connected neighbourhoods in rural areas close to cities?
  • For which target groups are the selected offers relevant and which groups could be reached in which types of neighbourhood?


  • Secondary analyses
  • GIS-supported spatial analysis
  • mobility survey

The research project will investigate the transport potential and possible spatial effects of selected key innovations of digitalised mobility for the development of sustainable mobility structures. To this end, theoretical assumptions on the potential of these key innovations will be developed on the basis of existing theoretical models of mobility needs and determinants of the choice of transport modes of different population groups ("on-demand ride-pooling", car, bike, scooter sharing and autonomous shuttles). These will be placed in a spatial context on the basis of different spatial types and applied to three selected sample neighbourhoods in the region of Hannover by an estimate of potential. In order to be able to use the potentials of digitised mobility offers, both the mobility needs of different population groups and the spatial conditions in different neighbourhoods must be considered.


PhD_Flexible Neighbourhood. Principle Guidelines of Urban Planning with focus on flexible forms of living and working

Responsible: Nadezda Krasilnikova

Research Questions:

  • How does Work 4.0 change the spatial connection between work and home as well as people's demands on their living environment? To what extent does this change individual mobility?
  • What potential do different types of space have for meeting people's new demands?
  • Which planning concepts are suitable for this?

Mixed-Method-Approach of Social- and Spatial Research

  • Standardised resident survey and interviews
  • Analysis of the instruments of spatial planning
  • Spatial Mapping
  • Analysis of Principle Guidelines

In recent years, flexibilization has become a standard term for describing social changes. Working conditions are changing. This results in employment with traditional and flexible working hours and locations. However, this influences not only the working method itself, but also the spatial connections between the place of work and the place of residence, the demands people make on their living environment and their everyday mobility patterns. In addition, the existing categories of space offer contrasting fields of learning on how to implement the organisation of work, living and mobility. Functionally mixed dense urban areas, which present the concept of the "city of short distances", thus characterise the cities just as much as the automobile-oriented suburban and rural neighbourhoods, which represent "decentralised concentration". This PhD project is therefore confronted with the challenge of identifying changes in working methods and the accompanying mobility patterns in different spatial types in order to redesign principle guidelines of spatial planning on this basis. The aim is to promote the transformation to sustainable mobility.  


Postdoctoral qualification_Place-based Digital Mobility

Responsible: Dr. Lisa Ruhrort

Research Questions:

  • Under which conditions can digital mobility innovations transform the existing automotive-centric socio-technical regime?
  • What role do changes in mobility practices due to digitalization play in this process?
  • What governance arrangements are required to integrate digital mobility innovations in different spatial types?

Case studies, discourse analysis, qualitative interviews

Based on theoretical approaches of the sociology of technology and innovation and especially the model of socio-technical transformation developed by Geels et al. (2012) following Science and Technology Studies, Lisa Ruhrort's habilitation project investigates the role of digital mobility innovations for a transformation of the 'socio-technical regime' of mobility. In this context, digitalised mobility innovations are understood as niches that challenge the existing regime and exert pressure for change on the established actors. The initial hypothesis is that the digitisation of the mobility system will only lead to a transformation of the regime towards sustainability if these innovations are adapted to different types of space on the one hand, and if they are controlled in such a way that they have a space-saving effect on the other. To this end, the project examines how the governance framework of transport needs to be adapted. In addition, within the framework of a system and actor analysis, the conflict lines of a roll-out of digitised mobility offers in different spatial types will be examined on the basis of the perspectives of the different social actors, in particular the new transport providers, the municipal actors, civil society and the users of these offers. The output is a socio-technical theory on the prerequisites for a transformation towards sustainable mobility under the conditions of digitalisation. On this basis, concrete recommendations for action are derived for transport and spatial policy actors on how they can make better use of the social dynamics of digitisation and which steering impulses are necessary to achieve actual sustainability effects. Another central issue is the question of possible gender-specific approaches to these new technically mediated mobility options.


Postdoctoral qualification _Spatial Transformation

Responsible: Dr. Meike Levin-Keitel

Research Questions:

  • What is the impact of spatial configurations of innovations and the socio-spatial characteristics of different mobility cultures in a transformation towards sustainable mobility?
  • What do systemic transformation phases or types look like in different spatial categories and how can they be influenced?

Qualitative Interviews, case study analysis, theory development

The approach of spatial transformation combines a spatial science perspective with theoretical approaches of transformation research. Building on theoretical approaches such as mobility culture and especially spatial aspects of transformation theories ("Geographies of Transition"), the theory-oriented transformation discourse is extended by a spatial dimension. This implies the integration of spatial references also in common models (e.g. multi-level perspective) and implementation-oriented approaches to sustainable mobility (e.g. by differentiating into different spatial types). At the same time, processes of spatial transformation towards sustainable mobility behaviour are analysed on a broader empirical basis as international case studies with regard to their systemic characteristics in order to identify phases or types of transformation processes in terms of space and time. The initial hypothesis of the research work is that in transformation processes, the optimisation of the existing mobility system reaches its limits, especially in the spatial dimension, and then a system change must take place, which also requires major changes in spatial design. The aim is to identify and theoretically grasp so-called tipping points that lead to a system change in order to make these theoretical starting points suitable for practical action strategies.