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Department of Spatial Planning

Effectiveness of strategic transport planning and transport policy - How big is the turning circle of the transport turnaround (WiVer)

Duration: March 2019 to May 2023

Funding: Ministry of Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (funding code FöRi-MM 25.18) in cooperation with the Future Network Mobility NRW


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Holz-Rau, Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann (project management)

M. Sc. Isabelle Wachter, M. Sc. Martin Randelhoff, M. Sc. Oliver Huber, Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner, Dr. Patricia Feiertag, M. Sc. Laura Wächter

Joint research project with the Department of Transportationand Transportation Planning at TU Dortmund University

Due to climate change and the negative impact on the environment, municipal traffic planning and traffic policy have recently gained importance in political, scientific and public debates. The traffic situation is currently characterized by contradictory developments, such as less car traffic by young adults, but also more and larger SUVs or more bicycle traffic and multimodality, while the number of commuters over longer distances is increasing. The need for a transportation and mobility turnaround has been known for decades. Nevertheless, the transport sector has not yet been able to achieve any significant success.

This outstanding success is taken by the departments of Transportation & Traffic Planning and European Planning Cultures of the TU Dortmund University (Faculty of Spatial Planning) as an opportunity to investigate the practices of strategic transportation planning in cities and municipalities. For this purpose, we look at the successes and failures of transport planning and policy in 15 cities, five German cities and five from abroad each, which are considered pioneers for sustainable transport planning, as well as five cities with ambitions that are still at the beginning. While the five good examples from abroad serve as a kind of contrasting model, the ten German cities are examined in terms of their strategic approaches, successes and implementation difficulties failures. In order to find out which type of concept serves more as a symbol and which strategic approach is particularly promising, we combine engineering and political science perspectives with practical experience. The goal of the project is to identify success factors and barriers to sustainable transportation planning and policy at the municipal level.


Project Results:

  • Working paper 1 The research approach
  • Working paper 2 Transport development as a framework for investigation
  • Working paper 3 Evaluation of transport policies
  • Working paper 4 Selection of the study cities
  • Working paper 5 Traffic behavior in city comparison
  • Working paper 6 Traffic safety in a city comparison
  • Working paper 7 Commuting and its development in a city comparison
  • Working Paper 8 Relative Success Cases of Strategic Transport Planning and Transport Policy in Europe
  • Working Paper 9 Motorization and its Development in Urban Comparison
  • Working paper 10: Analysis of transport policy council decisions in the period 2014 - 2021
  • Final report with city profiles


The working papers and the final report can be found permanently in ELDORADO.


Publications in journals and edited volumes:

Wachter, Isabelle; Holz-Rau, Christian;  Heinen; Eva (2024) What can urban transport policy achieve? How transport-policy-invariant characteristics relate to city-level car ownership and car use, Cities 147, 2024, 104769. Available here.

Feiertag, Patricia; Holz-Rau, Christian; Scheiner, Joachim; Wachter, Isabelle; Zimmermann, Karsten (2023): Von Vorreitern und Nachzüglern. Was bedeutet gute kommunale Verkehrspolitik? In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Heft „Lokale Verkehrswende“, 51-52/2023, 25-31 Available here

Wachter, Isabelle; Scheiner, Joachim; Holz-Rau, Christian (2023) Mehr Radverkehr, mehr Sicherheit?  Safety in Numbers in deutschen Städten. Straßenverkehrstechnik 66 (12), 827–838 Available here

Holz-Rau, Christian; Wachter, Isabelle; Feiertag, Patricia; Randelhoff, Martin; Scheiner, Joachim; Wächter, Laura; Zimmermann, Karsten: MOBILITÄTSWENDE – WIDER DEN LÄHMENDEN OPTIMISMUS. In: Nachrichten der ARL 1/2023: 16-21. Available here.

Holz-Rau, Christian; Heyer, Rabea; Schultewolter, Mirjam; Aertker, Johannes; Wachter, Isabelle; Klinger, Thomas (2022): Eine Verkehrstypologie deutscher Großstädte. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung Jg. 80 Heft 2, 137-152. DOI: 10.14512/rur.95.

Holz-Rau, Christian; Zimmermann, Karsten; Follmer, Robert (2018): Der Modal Split als Verwirrspiel. In: Straßenverkehrstechnik Jg. 62 Heft 8, 54-63

Wachter, Isabelle; Holz-Rau, Christian (2022): Verkehrsverhalten im Städtevergleich. In: Straßenverkehrstechnik Jg. 66 Heft 05

Zimmermann, Karsten (2022): Entwicklungsmuster lokaler Verkehrspolitik. Die Perspektive des Policy Design. In: Detlef Sack, Holger Straßheim und Karsten Zimmermann (Hrsg.) Renaissance der Verkehrspolitik. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag