How does social mobility work in China

Advancing the traffic transition and sustainable mobility in China and Germany

initial situation

Mobility is changing worldwide. This is due to several closely linked megatrends such as urbanization, technological progress, individualization and digitization. It is to be expected that one billion Chinese will be living in cities by 2030 and that the country will have more than 200 million cities. This concentration of the population on urban agglomerations leads to both a shortage of space and an increase in mobility needs.

In order to meet the resulting energy needs and at the same time meet international climate targets, low-emission technologies and alternative fuels are required - after all, China is already the country with the largest emissions of greenhouse gases in the world. At the same time, electrification, networking, automation and shared mobility are creating new approaches that can fundamentally change the transport sector.

The focus is on holistic mobility concepts and the interaction of the individual components. In order to integrate these complex mobility systems into public infrastructures, urban planning and traffic control, a balanced coordination of the responsible regional, national and international institutions is necessary.

Germany, with its strong automotive industry, and China as a lead market for electromobility and a pioneer in smart cities, face similar challenges and can learn a lot from each other. In China there is now the opportunity to jointly develop and test approaches and concepts for sustainable mobility. These can serve as blueprints in the coming decades, both for the growing megacities in Asia, South America and Africa and for solutions in Germany.


The political and technical dialogue between Germany and China on the subject of mobility and fuels has been intensified. The federal states implement jointly developed mobility concepts.


The project supports the political dialogue between the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI), the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MoT) and other Chinese political partners. It also promotes the exchange on mobility and fuel strategies (MFS) between experts and the private sector in both countries.

The project creates and evaluates holistic mobility concepts in China and Germany and evaluates their implementation. On the basis of this, it creates concrete political recommendations for action for a social and sustainable transport transition. The focus topics are integrated mobility concepts, especially transport hubs, sector coupling (integration of renewable energies in the transport sector), demographic change and the potential of micromobility (small and light vehicles) and non-motorized mobility.


The political and professional exchange has intensified the relationship in the field of sustainable transport design between the German and Chinese transport ministries.

Chinese stakeholders were able to demonstrate the positive effects of a participatory design of the MK strategy in Chinese cities. To this end, short studies were drawn up in the Jing-Jin-Ji pilot region. The integrated cooperation between regional actors in the pilot region was thereby strengthened.

The results and recommendations for action of the short studies have demonstrably led Chinese partners to examine further measures in non-motorized traffic. This includes the establishment of a bicycle traffic system in the city of Zhangjiakou by regional and local governments.

The transport ministries of both countries signed a joint declaration of intent in May 2019 to hold a German-Chinese mobility forum.

The cooperation resulted in a development partnership with industry to establish environmentally friendly fuels for ships in Chinese ports. The partnership takes place under the program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).