How do German cities translate global sustainability visions into local mobility planning? A quantitative analysis of planners' perspectives and priorities

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Sustainable development has been the guiding political principle worldwide since the adoption of the UN SDGs in 2015. Transport is of highest relevance for meeting this ambition; it enables people to move to destinations to meet their needs, and it causes substantial negative effects in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Cities are of highest relevance for transport because of their prevalence, and because challenges and opportunities are particularly pronounced in cities, but few attempts have been made to evaluate how cities translate the higher-level sustainability ambitions to their local contexts. Based on a survey of 402 municipalities in Germany, this study investigates local stakeholders' priorities in terms of sustainable urban mobility (SUM). Expert planners in local administrations assign higher priority to all SUM aspects than this is the case in the official local strategic planning objectives, such as those formulated in Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), with congestion being the only exception. Accessibility and further domain-specific aspects consistently get higher priority than the environmental effects of transport. Local stakeholders consistently commit first and foremost to the function of transport systems and give the minimization of negative effects only secondary priority. Priorities assigned to the SUM aspects are higher in larger cities than in smaller cities, particularly for the expert planners' assessments. Further studies with similar designs in other parts of the world would help to better understand the transferability of the mechanisms identified in this study and support higher-level efforts to achieve sustainability goals.


Seiten (von - bis)96-106
FachzeitschriftTransport policy
Frühes Online-Datum4 Juni 2024
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung - 4 Juni 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-7857-3077/work/161406356
unpaywall 10.1016/j.tranpol.2024.06.003
Mendeley e78b121c-bc81-369f-88ea-e9f55081c61a
Scopus 85195837005



  • Indicators, Mobility planning, Municipal survey, Sustainable development, Urban mobility