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Visit of the Mayor of the City of Kassel at BODE

On Friday, March 15, 2024, we had the honor of welcoming the Mayor of the City of Kassel, Dr. Sven Schoeller, at BODE. It was a great opportunity to engage in discussions on the topic of mobility and provide him with insight into our company.

After a brief welcome and introduction of our management team, the joint factory tour began, during which Dr. Schoeller had the opportunity to familiarize himself with our production facility and even operate some machines himself. 

Following this, we were able to ask him five questions regarding mobility, providing us with insights into the future development of the city of Kassel. Read on:

Question 1:
Mr. Mayor, in your opinion, what is the role of companies like Bode - Die Tür GmbH in promoting the mobility transition and expanding public transport in Kassel?

The mobility transition will be successful when sustainable mobility offerings become the more attractive option for people. Offers that are quick, affordable, safe, and comfortable in reaching the desired destination are attractive. Public transport is already a significant pillar, which we aim to further expand. Innovative companies contribute to this transformation and will benefit from increased investments. If these are also traditional companies from our own region, it will only further strengthen the acceptance of the population.

Question 2:
What specific measures or initiatives does the City of Kassel plan to strengthen collaboration with companies like Bode - Die Tür GmbH in the field of mobility?

It is important to me that as a city administration, we have an open ear for the concerns of local industry. We are approachable and ready to solve common problems together or, for example, to support in finding suitable expansion areas. With the project "climate-neutral industrial park Waldau," we are concretely supporting companies, in this case from all sectors, towards sustainability. Mobility companies are heavily involved in concept development, such as the logistics concept, to understand and incorporate their perspectives. The mobility transition, with all its upcoming (public) investments, also presents great opportunities for companies that are adapting to change.

Question 3:
To what extent do you believe that innovative solutions, such as those produced by Bode - Die Tür GmbH, contribute to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the transport sector in Kassel?

Sustainability requires two things: good political and legal framework conditions and the innovative power of companies. As Mayor, I advocate for utilizing our municipal scope for action to create favorable and enabling framework conditions. Within this framework, it strongly depends on companies and their inventive spirit. From what I have learned about Bode - Die Tür GmbH, there is a lot of that in your company.

Question 4
What challenges and opportunities do you see regarding the integration of new mobility concepts, such as Peoplemovers, into Kassel's existing infrastructure, and how can the cooperation between the city and companies like Bode - Die Tür GmbH contribute to this?

I am grateful to the Climate Protection Council and the City Council for having already shown various paths and set important guidelines with the Climate Protection Strategy and the Integrated Mobility Action Package. The fundamental challenge of new measures lies in financing and acceptance among the population. Opportunities include improved and more attractive mobility with fewer harmful emissions or particulate matter, less annoying parking searches or noise emissions, and ultimately a higher quality of life in our city. I am very open to Peoplemovers or autonomous driving and support it if we could tackle suitable pilot projects in the coming years. 

Question 5:
Given the increasing awareness of environmentally friendly mobility and emissions reduction, what long-term strategies is the City of Kassel pursuing to promote access to sustainable modes of transport while maintaining the competitiveness and attractiveness of the economic location of Kassel?

My thesis is that we can only maintain competitiveness if we succeed in transitioning to sustainable mobility. We have seen, not least with the Russian attack on Ukraine, how companies disappear whose business model depended on fossil fuels from authoritarian states. Currently, in terms of e-mobility, we see that the German automotive industry has held onto combustion engines for too long and has fallen behind strong competition from Asia and the USA.

For Kassel, we are currently examining the expansion of various tram routes, KVG and NVV are acquiring new buses and trains, and we are gradually adapting our city to current mobility behavior – especially increasing functionality and safety for cycling and walking. The city becomes even more livable when we redesign traffic axes that have previously separated entire neighborhoods, such as Kurt-Schumacher-Str., and thereby gain quality of stay. Throughout all this, our city remains accessible to all modes of transport – including cars. Mobility must work, only then will we achieve broad acceptance.

We would like to thank you for your visit and look forward to working together on the development of our city and providing access to mobility for all citizens in Kassel!