WP 1 – Analysis of the political framework and challenges in the Upper Rhine region


In this Work Package, policy objectives and challenges of municipal transport planning in the Upper Rhine region have been explored, under consideration of the regional, national and international context municipal transport policy is embedded in.

The scope of research embraces firstly the review of transport policy documents of various administrational levels to identify policy objectives, policy hierarchies, as well as modes of transport involved with the objectives. Covering all policy and administrational levels which have an influence on urban transport policy in the Upper Rhine region, the scope of analysed documents ranges from EU level to the national, regional, district and municipal level.

Secondly, surveys have been conducted among municipal transport planners in the Upper Rhine region to obtain deeper insights into policy objectives, preferences, the importance of innovative mobility concepts, requirements of the indicator tool, as well as current and future challenges.


The literature analysis on transport policy and planning covers 61 documents, and includes documents from various administrative and policy levels:

  • EU level (e.g., White Paper on transport)
  • Bilateral national level (e.g., Aachen Treaty on bilateral cooperation and integration between France and Germany)
  • National level in France, Germany and Switzerland (e.g., Coalition Agreement of the Federal Government of Germany, French Sustainable Mobility Development Strategy (SDMP), Future of national infrastructure networks in Switzerland)
  • Regional level (e.g., Coalition Agreement of the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Grand Est’s Regional Master Plan for Planning, Sustainable Development and Territorial Equality (SRADDET))
  • International regional level (e.g., Action Plan PAMINA mobility, Mobility – Eurodistrict Basel)
  • District level (e.g., Public Transport Plan of the District of Loerrach, Mulhouse Region Territorial Coherence Scheme)
  • Municipal level (e.g., Karlsruhe’s Integrated City Development Concept).

The policy objectives extracted from these documents have been aligned with a carefully developed policy hierarchy, ranging from general societal objectives at the top to operational transport related goals at the bottom, which allows for clustering of transport policy objectives. The following results are highlighted as examples of the review: Fig. 1 illustrates that the highest share of the analysed documents refer to the general objective inter-generational justice – which also covers the avoidance of climate change –, followed by economic efficiency and environment & health. A lower share of the reviewed policy documents refers to safety & security and intra-generational justice.

Figure 1: Importance of general objectives (policy documents from all administrational levels)

The analysis of policy documents at regional, district and municipal level reveals that the following transport specific objectives are mentioned by the highest shares of the documents (see Fig. 2): high locational attractiveness, the avoidance of harmful transport emissions, and transport safety. High level of accessibility of the transport system to all social groups and regional accessibility show a slightly lower share of mentions, while the avoidance of climate change, ensuring a reliable and efficient transport system, and particularly transport security, are mentioned by a considerably lower share of policy documents.

Figure 2: Importance of transport specific objectives (policy documents from regional, district and municipal level)

The interviews have been conducted with urban transport planners of eleven German cities, six Swiss cities, four French agglomeration areas, and of the Region Grand Est. As an example, the results of a pairwise comparison on the importance of policy targets of urban transport policy reveal the highest priority for transport safety, followed by the support of the regional/ urban economy, the protection of the citizens against traffic noise and air pollutants, enhancing access and inclusion, safeguarding the environment, and transport security (see Fig. 3).

Figure 3: Preferences of urban transport planners of the Upper Rhine Region

Furthermore, the interviews discovered that cross-border aspects of transport initiatives in the Upper Rhine region manifest themselves mainly in planning cross-border public transport services, and the extension of the cross-border bicycle network.

Further findings from the review of policy documents and the conducted interviews will be presented in Journal articles.


Dr. Eckhard Szimba

Senior Researcher


Core Team

Nadège Blond, Research Scientist,

Pauls Salze, Researcher,

Fabio Kurz, Scientific assistant,

Johannes Pfeifer, Scientific assistant,