project– Dear Lakshya, you are a new PhD student at the Urban Health Games Research Group. What is your research topic?
My current research topic is ‚Improving multimodal accessibility in urban agglomerations‘.

project– What inspired you to look into this topic?
During my research work in master program, I was inspired to look into diverse perspectives of accessibility of urban public spaces and its correlation. The support from my mentor Prof. Dr. Martin Knöll, and the strategic vision of Frankfurt/Rhine Main 2020 inspired me to further expand my research.

project– Which method do you use for that scientific work?
The methodology is currently based on identifying and utilizing different parameters of assessing accessibility. Space syntax is one of the spatial parameters being used, which has diverse sub-parameters, that can be utilized to understand how urban spaces shape, and have an effect on the pedestrian mobility. Other state of the art measures are being studied which would assist in assessing multimodal access quantitatively, leading to qualitative inferences and vice versa.

project– How is that connected with UHG Research Group from Martin Knöll?
Access to the urban environment initiates equity and inclusion, with accessibility being a quality of system which allows, includes and integrates diverse human cognitive and motoric capabilities and users within the system. With ‚mobility‘ being one of the focal research areas under Urban Health Games, the research diagnosis will enable a systematic approach to understand and enhance mobility, through better understanding of travel behaviour in urban agglomeration.

project– What are your next research steps for the year 2019?
Based on the state of the art studies, and identified parameters, a pilot study would be initiated within the city of Darmstadt, being one of the major cities to fall within the Frankfurt Rhine Main agglomeration. Different spaces would be studied post reconnaissance studies of the selected areas.

project– What characterizes in your point of view the mobility in the Rhine-Main area?
The ability of being able to have equitable multimodal access within the diverse regions of the cities forming the agglomeration would, to me, characterize the mobility of an urban agglomeration like Rhine-Main area.

project– What do you think about the upcoming concept of “mobility design”?
To me, conventional mobility planning placed automobiles at the nucleus of transportation system. The new accessibility paradigm places people at the centre of the mobility design.

project– What do you think project– can give the region?
The project– is an ambitious step in giving the agglomeration region the perspective of active multimodal transport, which places mobility-oriented design methods from diverse participating authorities and their combined efforts, that would lead to assessing, proposing and providing an inclusive region. The project would encourage and establish a cooperative learning, which would be beneficial for the region and its neighbouring areas .

project– Let’s talk more about the local situation. What is your preferred mode of transport?
I prefer walkable cities, which urge people to use pedestrian pathways for their desired daily activities, that are accessible within their comfort. For long journeys, public transport is my next priority after bicycles.

project– Which mobility design has impressed you most in the last time?
My past experience of working in an utopian experimental township, Auroville, made an impact in my ways of using different modes of transport.. The experimental township has various zones including residential, industrial, cultural and international zones, which are connected with great ease of mobility. The master plan limits the use of private vehicles and encourages active transport within the core of township.

project– Lakshya, thank you very much for your answers.

The interview was given in a written form and prepared by Yves Vincent Grossmann.