Potentials for Energy and Climate Efficient Passenger Mobility – Simulation of Ambitious Mode Shift Measures in the Ruhr Metropolitan Region
Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award
Miriam Müller, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oscar Reutter, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
The objective of the research project ‘Regional Modal Shift’ was to analyse the potentials for a mode shift in the Ruhr region and to estimate their effects on reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions
The transportation sector in Germany accounts for approximately 28% of total energy use and 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, fundamental transformations of the transport system are needed to meet the requirements of the German ‘Energiewende’ and to reach the climate protection targets.
The Ruhr metropolitan region is one of the largest agglomeration areas in Europe with 5,05 million inhabitants living in 53 municipalities. The polycentric Ruhr region is characterized by a high share of car use: 53% of all trips are made by car (year 2012) (Sagolla 2012: 64). In order to make passenger transport more sustainable, fundamental changes in urban and regional structures are needed. However, current policies are rather limited to small-scale measures. One barrier for conducting more ambitious policies is the lack of models which demonstrate the potentials of urban planning and transport measures to shift transport from car to environmentally friendly transport modes.
The objective of the research project ‘Regional Modal Shift’ was to analyse the potentials for a mode shift in the Ruhr region and to estimate their effects on reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The results can be used by planners, politicians and citizens for getting evidence on the effectiveness of measures and the scale by which measures need to be taken in order to locally meet the requirements of the ‘Energiewende’ and CO2-reduction targets.
The project partners were Wuppertal Institute, Bergische Universität Wuppertal and Spiekermann & Wegener Urban and Regional Research (S&W). The research project was part of the ‘Framework Programme to Implement the Energy Transition at the Local Authorities of the Ruhr Area’ (duration 11/2012-2/2017), granted by Stiftung Mercator.
In the research project, urban and transport planning measures were developed that have the potential to shift trips from car to environmentally friendly modes of transport and modelled in a transport model.
Measures that were developed needed to fulfil the following criteria:
• measures are in the responsibility of regional and municipal actors,
• measures are implemented in an ambitious and far reaching approach,
• measures cover both push and pull measures,
• the assumptions of the measures are based on existing data and empirical research results.
The urban planning and transport measures developed include both well known measures implemented in an ambitious and far reaching approach (for example the extensive promotion of cycling in all municipalities of the Ruhr area) and innovative new measures (for example a regional car toll or a ‘citizen ticket’).
The following push & pull-measures were developed and modelled:
o Regional car toll
o Wide spread parking management
o Wide spread speed limits
o Reduction of car lanes
o Expansion of car sharing
o Increase of service frequency
o Introduction of a ‘citizen ticket’
o Development of a cycle highway network
o Acceleration of travel time for cycling
o Acceleration of travel time for walking
For all measures, assumptions were developed. For example for car speed limits by 2020: 80 km/h on highways, 60 km/h on express ways, 30 km/h on all remaining roads. All measures were linked to good practice examples from the real world. For example for accelerating travel time for cycling: The City of Copenhagen has the target to decrease travel time for cycling by 15% by 2025 compared to 2012.
The measures developed were modelled by the ‘Integrated Model Ruhr 2050’ developed by S&W. The model covers the time period 1990-2050. The simulation model “assesses the impacts of land use, transport and other policies to reduce energy consumption and to promote transition to renewable energy on economy, mobility, quality of life and environment in the Ruhr region” (Brosch et al. 2015).
The modelling results demonstrate that if all push and pull-measures are implemented together, the share of car use can be reduced from 53% to 35% and CO2-emissions in passenger transport can be reduced by 60% compared to a business-as-usual scenario (BAU) by 2050. Push measures that are restrictive against car use are more effective to reduce car use than pull measures.
The results demonstrate that considerable effects to reduce car use can be achieved if push and pull measures are implemented in an ambitious and far-reaching approach. Thus, there is a high potential for municipalities to design urban and transport structures in a sustainable way which facilitate an energy efficient mobility behaviour. However, even when modelling all the ambitious measures developed, climate protection targets are not yet met in the transport model and further measures need to be taken.
Association for European Transport