The German-language CIVINET: by cities for cities

A tram at Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Image from Pixabay by Andy Leung

The CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum – the CIVITAS network for the German Language Area – acts as an ambassador for the CIVITAS Initiative in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, promoting knowledge-exchange on current mobility topics.

Cities across Europe face similar challenges, including the need to fight climate change. To this end, climate neutrality is being pursued at both European and national levels. Reaching such a goal demands a rapid transformation of urban mobility towards low-emission transport. For such a transformation to succeed in cities, comprehensive measures must be put in place that make cities “climate-ready”.

The good news is that, since cities all across Europe are facing this same challenge, there is huge potential for peers to work together and learn from each other in order to swiftly reach climate-readiness. This is precisely where the CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum comes in.

The CIVINET’s work stems from its motto: “from cities for cities”. The network promotes the exchange of tried and tested mobility measures that work. It provides a framework for cities to learn from each other, and translates current mobility issues from the European to the local level – literally! All events and activities of the network are offered in German.

The CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum currently has over 30 members from Germany and Austria, who represent cities, city-related companies, city associations, research institutions, as well as other organisations entrusted with urban mobility tasks. All members have in common that they are committed to sustainable mobility in cities.

At the moment, the CIVINET is organised as a non-profit association whose sphere of action covers the German-speaking part of Europe. The association is independent of political parties and works across the board to improve the quality of life and living conditions in European cities.

CIVINET activities

Since it started in 2013, the CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum has organised events and capacity-building activities – including conferences, seminars, trainings, workshops, site visits, online newsletters and international study tours – that support local and regional authorities to push forward sustainable local mobility. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of events organised by the CIVINET continues to grow.  

Together with its members, the network created a colourful, interactive programme for exchange between urban stakeholders in 2021, which included several COVID-safe virtual events, such as webinars and online round tables on different mobility topics. The implementation of the programme events was supported by funding from CIVITAS ELEVATE.

The first half of 2022 has already seen the CIVINET continue to offer a number of activities, including:

The CIVINET also produces a newsletter to ensure that all are up-to-date on planned activities and the latest mobility insights.

What’s next?

What’s the future for this thriving network? At the moment, the network is being transformed from a registered association into an open network. This will reduce formal framework conditions, while ensuring that registered network members are able to continue to actively co-create the annual programme and to contribute to CIVINET events.

Moving forward, all CIVINET events will be open and free to attend, including by non-members, and the newsletter will be circulated to all interested persons.

For more information about the CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum, visit their page on the CIVITAS website (in German):, or on LinkedIn

Author: CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum


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