Active mobility for maintained benefits of health and environment

A joint project between Freie Universität Berlin and the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)

Active and sustainable mobility, such as walking, cycling, or use of public transport, is an integral part of the mobility transition and has benefits for people’s health and climate protection. In the context of recent heat waves and other events connected to climate change, it is crucial to examine research questions around the mobility transition as well as its antecedents. For example: How can we support people in using the bike or public transport for specific routes of their everyday life? Which forms of mobility will be supported in future climate scenarios? These and other topics will be investigated by the AMBER junior research group, an interdisciplinary team of young scientists.

Motorized private transport not only causes increased air and noise pollution, but is also responsible for 20 percent of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions. So-called “car-friendly cities” are heavily sealed, which is a problem – especially when cities are facing extreme weather events. Active mobility has the potential to decrease strain on the climate, ecosystems and public health. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the demand for soil sealing, and was therefore declared a key strategy for a sustainable mobility transition. This is where the AMBER junior research group comes in: Connections between health and climate protection in the context of active mobility will be investigated at various levels, including the individual, organizational, and environmental level.

Citizen Science projects

A key component within the junior research group refers to Citizen Science projects, in which citizens investigate and learn about active mobility, its health and climate impact in present and future climate conditions. Together with the research team and a study app, they can investigate various effects on the environment and their own health. During the process, both researchers and citizens are learning about possible starting points for transformative change and opportunities for civic engagement. Recommendations for decision-makers will be derived from the outcomes of the Citizen Science projects.

Transdisciplinary research

In the AMBER project, an inter- and transdisciplinary research design is applied. The AMBER team comprises researchers from the fields of environmental and health psychology, meteorology, public health and sustainability management studies. Moreover, various practice partners and an international scientific advisory board support the project.

Project duration: March 2023 to February 2028

Project funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; FKZ 01LN2205A)

More information on junior research groups as part of the Research for Sustainability (FONA)-strategy

The AMBER team:

  • Dr. Jan Keller, FU Berlin: Principal Investigator
  • Dr. Vivian Frick, IÖW: Principal Investigator
  • Siiri Tunn, FU Berlin: Research Associate
  • Karsten Valerius, FU Berlin: Research Associate
  • Christina Klusch, IÖW: Research Associate
  • Patrick Bettinger, FU Berlin: Student assistant
  • Lion Ketterlinus, IÖW: Student assistant
  • Lucienne Pitschel, IÖW: Administration
  • Antonia Sladek, IÖW: Communication

Contact: Dr. Jan Keller, jan.keller[at]