Berlin Pankow: a 15-min city for everyone? A case study combining accessibility, traffic noise, air pollution, and socio-structural data

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Cars are dominating urban traffic in cities around the world, even though daily trips in many cities are often realized with active modes of transportation or public transport. Urban transport planning processes need to adapt to this reality and the necessity of climate change mitigation. Against this background, the research project “Mobility Reporting”, a joint undertaking of the district Pankow in Berlin and researchers from TU Berlin and TU Dresden, established a new, goal-driven, and participative planning process. The process identified local mobility as one of the central planning goals. The 15-min city (FMC) was thus adduced as a benchmark to analyze the district’s current mobility system and development potential. We conducted extensive accessibility analyses to examine the status quo concerning the FMC. We calculated travel times to essential destinations in daily life by foot, public transport, and car. This analysis was accompanied by a mixed online and paper–pencil survey conducted to evaluate the perceived accessibility of people in Pankow. The survey results shed light on the question of which walking time thresholds constitute a “very good” or “good” accessibility. Further analyses included environmental and social variables, allowing us to check whether areas with different accessibility levels also differ regarding the socio-economic characteristics of their inhabitants. For example, do socially advantaged neighborhoods have better local accessibility? Is there a trade-off between exposure to environmental pollution and good accessibility? With this contribution, we shed light on what an FMC is and ought to be. Results from the survey support the normative and political vision of the FMC. Pankow generally offers the merits of a walkable city, showing the expected travel time differences between the dense inner city and the outskirts. Socially disadvantaged neighborhoods are not consistently less accessible. However, there seems to be a trade-off between good accessibility (especially PT accessibility) and correlated externalities of transport, namely air pollution and noise.


FachzeitschriftEuropean transport research review
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2023

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-9743-9700/work/150327522


ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • 15-min city, Accessibility, Mobility, Air pollution, Compact city, Environmental pollution, Perceived accessibility, Social disadvantage, Traffic noise