In the context of an Individual Mobility Budget, it is important to ensure that everyone can access places providing basic functionalities of everyday life within a short travel time, regardless of their personal abilities and place of residence.
The German speaking literature defines a set of activities that are essential to fulfilling basic human needs (Daseinsgrundfunktionen). Commonly, six types of activities are distinguished, categorized by their purpose for individuals:
- Living (home location)
- Learning (education)
- Caring (for oneself or others)
- Interacting (social interaction)
As the locations providing such functions are required for people to fulfil their basic needs, it is of central importance that these places can be reached without major effort. Thus, the accessibility of locations providing these activities can be set as a normative goal for spatial planning.
The basic functions of everyday life vary between social groups and may change over time. For example, not everyone is visiting spaces for educational or care purposes daily. Of these places, the ones a person visits regularly form that person’s Activity Space. The availability of such destinations varies strongly by geographical factors, for example between urban and rural contexts.
Increasingly, there are discussions about the role of a ‘virtual space’, which can also provide basic functions. Many of the activities listed above can theoretically be shifted to a virtual setting. This becomes especially relevant in the context of reducing the emissions of travelling in the physical world and should be supported as an alternative.
- Maier, Jörg, Reinhard Paesler, Karl Ruppert, and Franz Schaffer. “Sozialgeographie.”
- Millonig, Alexandra. 2022. “Defining a Minimum Standard for Mobility,” MyFairShare Discussion Paper.
- Partzsch, Dieter. 1964. “Zum Begriff Der Funktionsgesellschaft.” Mitt. d. Deutsch. Verbandes f. Wohnungswesen, Stadtebau Und Raumplanung, 3–10.
- Werlen, Benno. 2023. “Daseinsgrundfunktionen.” Spektrum.de. 2023. https://www.spektrum.de/lexikon/geographie/daseinsgrundfunktionen/1497