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Effectiveness of strategic transport planning and transport policy - How big is the turning circle of the transport turnaround?


Project Objectives:

30 years ago, the circular decree "Principles for the better integration of urban renewal and urban transport" appeared in North Rhine-Westphalia, which called for "close coordination of urban development and transport on the basis of integrated local planning". The circular formulated the principles of traffic avoidance (shorter routes), traffic shift (less car traffic, more pedestrian, bicycle and public transport) and compatible traffic management that are still valid today.

The traffic turnaround has moved to the center of the traffic discussion in recent years. More bicycle traffic and multimodality, less car traffic by young adults, but also more and bigger SUVs, more commuters over longer distances: In view of the limit value violations in inner cities and the further increase in climate-relevant emissions in the transport sector, questions arise as to how effective strategic transport planning and transport policy actually are in cities and whether the goals, instruments and procedures are still appropriate.


In order to answer these questions, the Department of Transportation and Transportation Planning, together with the Department of European Planning Cultures at the TU Dortmund University, is investigating the practices of strategic transportation planning in cities and municipalities. In this context, analyses of the technical processes are combined with investigations of the political processes and practice partners from the Future Network Mobility NRW are included. Within the framework of the project, the following partly contradictory, partly complementary explanatory patterns will be contrasted and tested for their viability:

  • Transport planning has long known how a transport turnaround can be achieved at the municipal level. Only politics does not follow the advice of planning.
  • The impact assumptions of transportation planning are far too optimistic and not sufficiently scientifically based.
  • The recommendations of transport planning are neither politically communicable nor feasible.
  • The recommendations of transportation planning fail for other reasons, e.g., inhibiting administrative structures, lack of action resources or competencies.


We examine the successes and failures of transport planning and policy in 15 cities, five German cities and five from abroad that are considered pioneers in sustainable transport planning, and five cities with ambitions that are still in their infancy. We combine engineering and political science perspectives with real-world experiences to arrive at recommendations for a transportation turnaround via the following questions:

  • Can changes and breaks in the retrospectively reconstructed spatial and transport offers be identified, in which a changed spatial and transport planning and policy are expressed?
  • What role do supply-improving and supply-restricting measures play in local transportation planning and policy?
  • Were the predicted effects of measures and concepts actually achieved when implemented, or are they based on systematic misjudgements of effectiveness?


At the end of the project, obstacles and success factors of successful transport planning and policy are to be identified, based among other things on the analysis of so-called good examples in Germany and abroad. Based on these, recommendations for concepts and processes of sustainable transport planning and policy will be formulated, taking into account the effectiveness and feasibility of the measures and concepts.

Funding source and duration:

The research project is funded by the Ministry of Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and cooperates with the Future Network Mobility NRW (duration March 2019 to December 2021).

Location & approach

Der Campus der Technischen Universität Dortmund liegt in der Nähe des Autobahnkreuzes Dortmund West, wo die Sauerlandlinie A45 den Ruhrschnellweg B1/A40 kreuzt. Die Abfahrt Dortmund-Eichlinghofen auf der A45 führt zum Campus Süd, die Abfahrt Dortmund-Dorstfeld auf der A40 zum Campus-Nord. An beiden Ausfahrten ist die Universität ausgeschildert.

Direkt auf dem Campus Nord befindet sich die S-Bahn-Station „Dortmund Universität“. Von dort fährt die S-Bahn-Linie S1 im 15- oder 30-Minuten-Takt zum Hauptbahnhof Dortmund und in der Gegenrichtung zum Hauptbahnhof Düsseldorf über Bochum, Essen und Duisburg. Außerdem ist die Universität mit den Buslinien 445, 447 und 462 zu erreichen. Eine Fahrplanauskunft findet sich auf der Homepage des Verkehrsverbundes Rhein-Ruhr, außerdem bieten die DSW21 einen interaktiven Liniennetzplan an.

Zu den Wahrzeichen der TU Dortmund gehört die H-Bahn. Linie 1 verkehrt im 10-Minuten-Takt zwischen Dortmund Eichlinghofen und dem Technologiezentrum über Campus Süd und Dortmund Universität S, Linie 2 pendelt im 5-Minuten-Takt zwischen Campus Nord und Campus Süd. Diese Strecke legt sie in zwei Minuten zurück.

Vom Flughafen Dortmund aus gelangt man mit dem AirportExpress innerhalb von gut 20 Minuten zum Dortmunder Hauptbahnhof und von dort mit der S-Bahn zur Universität. Ein größeres Angebot an internationalen Flugverbindungen bietet der etwa 60 Kilometer entfernte Flughafen Düsseldorf, der direkt mit der S-Bahn vom Bahnhof der Universität zu erreichen ist.