Traffic & Active Mobility Living Lab Bishkek
project initiation: April 2022
project duration: 8 months
The SPCE Hub initiated a Living Lab on traffic and active mobility in Bishkek in April 2022.
Living Labs are temporary, transformative spaces in which actors from government, civil society and science work together to test solutions for sustainability. The larger goal of Living Labs is to produce knowledge and solutions that other actors can subsequently apply and implement independently of the Lab.
The Traffic & Active Mobility Lab is co-financed by the SPCE Hub and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kyrgyzstan and jointly implemented in partnership with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.
- Representatives of the city administration
- Prof. Kubatbek Muktarbek uulu (Technical University of Bishkek – KTU)
- Prof. Cholpon Turdalieva (American University of Central Asia)
- Representatives of the civil society
- Prof. Jochen Eckart (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Monika Gonser (Head of the Intersectoral School of Governance BW)
- Daria Gavriushchenko (Program manager, Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kyrgyzstan)
- Sebastian Schiek (Founder, SPCE Hub)
- Alexander Wolters (Director, OSCE Academy)
Kick-off meeting, April 2022
The first Living Lab meeting took place on 29 April 2022 in the conference hall of the OSCE Academy.
The overall aim of the meeting was to discuss and agree on common goals and interventions of the Lab.
At first, Prof. Jochen Eckart presented the research method of Living Labs in the field of transport ecology. The presentation was based on his experiences as convener of numerous mobility-related living labs in Germany and around the world.
Identifying key challenges, goals and interventions
After a discussion of the current traffic situation and major challenges in Bishkek, stakeholders presented potential goals and interventions adressing the key challenges identified before.
These were ranging from promoting public transport (e.g. through improvement of bus stops), creating public urban spaces for leisure time, promoting pedestrians, to promoting cycling.
Our Goal: Promoting Cycling
After intensive discussions, the participants agreed to make the promotion of cycling the key goal of the Living Lab. Bishkek has already started to develop its cycling infrastructure in recent years. In everyday mobility in Bishkek, however, cycling plays only a minor role.
Testing infrastructure and discussing social norms
To make cycling a viable mode of travel, safe bicycle infrastructure is key. The stakeholder therefore agreed to design interventions that test and monitor different types of cycling lanes. In addition to infrastructure development, social norms play an important role in making people get on a bycicle. Therefore, the lab will also address social norms through public events.
As a supporting program of the Living Lab Bishkek, Prof. Jochen Eckart gave a total of three lectures on transport ecology, active mobility and air quality at the Kyrgyz Technical University (KTU) and the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).
In the upcoming weeks, we will have dialogues with relevant stakeholders from the city administration to identify potential streets and street sections that are suitable for the temporary installation of cycle paths. Additional dialogue formats and surveys among bicycle activists and students will help us identify test routes in the city that address real mobility needs.
For comments and inquieries please write to
Links and Readings
OSCE Academy in Bishkek: https://osce-academy.net/
American University of Central Asia: https://auca.kg/
Rahat Sabyrbekov, Indra Overland, Why Choose to Cycle in a Low-Income Country?, published in Sustainability, September 2020, online access at: https://www.researchgate.net
All pictures on this website (c) OSCE Academy in Bishkek