EcoMobility World Festival is a month-long presentation of an innovative and forward thinking urban transportation culture. One neighborhood that is temporarily converted into an “ecomobile neighborhood” presents a real-life vision of car-free urban living for the future. In September 2013, over 4,300 residents of Haenggung-dong neighborhood adopted an ecomobile lifestyle for an entire month. Instead of driving private automobiles, residents of all ages and from all walks of life made their daily commute to work or school, trips to the shops and to leisure activities using a combination of their feet, pedal power, and light electric vehicles. The EcoMobility World Festival concept was initiated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI aimed to show that an urban ecomobile lifestyle can be implemented in cities all over the world by temporarily transforming a neighborhood that demonstrates the green mobility.

In 2011, Mayor Tae-Young Yeom of Suwon City, South Korea decided to take the lead of implementing this unprecedented project in the neighborhood of Haenggung-dong. UN-Habitat, the United Nations Agency for sustainable urban development, took the role of co-organizing partner, promoting of the Festival through their various channels and contributing technical recommendations.

The Festival Idea

EcoMobility means priority for walking, cycling, wheeling, ‘passenging’. It describes a new paradigm for both our personal mobility choices and urban transport planning.

Can we imagine how a car-free neighborhood, a car-free life looks like? Most Mayors, city councilors and urban planners can‘t. They can only imagine what they know from the past. How can we open their minds to the future? By creating images – pictures of the future.

What if the residents of a neighborhood in a large city would act out the future: real citizens, real city, real time.

In historic German cities, residents act out knight festivals every year. The old city around the castle is decorated to look as it did 800 years ago, residents dress in medieval styles, prepare food that the people ate in the 1200s and play knights’ games. During the EcoMobility World Festival in Suwon, residents will act out the future to show not what was, but what must now become a reality.

[mk_image src=”” image_width=”400″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” title=”Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Creative Director, EcoMobility World Festivals” caption_location=”outside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”10″]

  • Studied Urban Planning 1979-1984
  • Managed “Bicycle-friendly City Model Project” 1978-1984
  • Coined notion of “Umweltverbund” in Germany 1986
  • Coined the term “EcoMobility” in 2007
  • Founded Global Alliance for EcoMobility 2007
  • Initiated series of EcoMobility World Festivals 2009
  • Creative Director, EcoMobility World Festival 2013