Combining Rural Mobility and Co-Working in Södra Åby
The MAMBA partners develop nine innovative Mobility Centers in different parts of the Baltic Sea Region. While they differ in format and scope and cover a broad spectrum of organisational setups, the MAMBA Mobility Centers have one thing in common: by fostering cooperation of administrative stakeholders, transport operators or citizen initiatives, the nine Mobility Centers pool resources, create synergies and thus improve accessibility and mobility in rural areas.
In MAMBA, the Municipality of Trelleborg develops both a digital and an “offline” Mobility Center. While the former is already up and running, the latter is currently being developed and tested. What makes Trelleborg’s Mobility Center special is its emphasis on accessibility, which is a key principle of MAMBA. For us, mobility is not just about getting from A to B, but we address the topic from a holistic perspective which includes the accessibility of services in rural contexts. Against this background, the Trelleborg Mobility Center combines both a co-working space and mobility. By integrating different mobility solutions, the Trelleborg Mobility Center thus caters to the integrated perspective of MAMBA:
- The co-working space at the core of the Trelleborg Municipality Mobility Center allows for office jobs in the country side, located close to people’s homes which reduces travels and keeps the municipality’s villages lively.
- In the longer run, the Mobility Center shall also offer mobility services and access to related information. For instance, the local MAMBA partner currently works on establishing a bicycle sharing station that should be integrated in the Mobility Center.
In Södra Åby, at the periphery of Trelleborg Municipality, such a co-working space Mobility Center has just opened. Run by a not-for-profit village association, the goal of this initiative is to develop the countryside, while also limiting the number of commuters to other bigger neighbouring cities and putting less pressure on the infrastructure of the region. Södra Åby is an ideal place for this kind of Mobility Center as there is an active community group that already coordinated different activities in the past. Moreover, working together with local groups made it easier and faster to open up the co-working space since trust and established communication channels with inhabitants already exist. For the time being, the goal is to open the co-working space every Friday, as this is the day of the week with the highest demand among locals. Therefore, an active member of the Södra Åby community has been hired as Mobility Center supersvisor in order to ensure reliability of the service, support outreach activities and act as contact person for the Mobility Center users.
In Södra Åby this unique Mobility Center concept that integrates both accessibility and mobility in a very tangible manner will be further tested and developed throughout the remaining project lifetime. At the same time, a long-term strategy will be developed to organise the “post-MAMBA” setup of the Mobility Center. Building upon strong community life and above-average commitment of local citizens, the Södra Åby Mobility Center has the chance to become a project that benefits not only local citizens, but can inspire rural populations all over the Baltic Sea Region to tackle mobility and accessibility issues in their region.