• Laura Monika Arp
Increasing urbanization and Climate Change put pressure on urban settlements and create a need for more “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” cities as stated in the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. Adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts have become paramount for cities. One possibility can be a change in the modal split from individual motorized vehicles to emission-free modes of transport like walking or cycling. This is of particular importance in Germany, as private vehicle ownership has been rising over the past decades, offsetting emission savings from environmental measures in the engines. Therefore, this research examines sustainable urban design principles that encourage citizens to increase their sustainable modes of transport, i.e. walking and cycling. An online survey among practitioners from the field of urban planning, especially among urban planning departments of German municipalities was carried out to investigate the state of the art of the application of such principles in Germany. Furthermore, the digital planning tool ‘City Information Modelling’ (CIM) was evaluated through the survey for its potential benefits and disadvantages when applied in German planning procedures and its capability to foster the application of sustainable urban design principles that encourage citizen to walk or cycle. An invitation to participate was sent to 868 practitioners from the field of urban planning, two third of that being urban planning departments of German cities. 110 responded to the survey, of those 37 partially. Additionally, eight interviews were conducted with experts from the fields of 3D city modelling, smart urban environments, Building Information Modelling and urban planning procedures in Germany. The results indicate that some sustainable urban design principles, like mixed-use land types or the expansion of bicycle road network, are applied but that there is still a lot of room for increasing sustainability within urban settlements in Germany. Moreover, the results clearly show many benefits that could be utilized through the application of CIM in planning procedures once the technology is fully developed. The combination of a 3D-model, GIS-data and information modelling can aid planning processes through visualization, simulation and analysis, thus making decisions in planning more evidence-based and potentially more economically sustainable as intervention could be more impactful for the same investment. Generally, the experts saw more potential in the utilization of CIM than the participants of the survey. The respondents estimated the potential benefit for their organization through CIM to be only somewhat to moderate. Possible explanations for this, like the lack of knowledge about CIM or potential inhibition of the development and spread of digital planning methods through German laws and regulations, are discussed.
Lastly, the functions of CIM could also help to foster the application of sustainable urban design principles and in consequence potentially increase the modal split of walking and cycling within cities as well, thus increasing ecological sustainability. The vast possibilities for participation through CIM could help increase social sustainability within the built environment.
Publication date7 Jun 2019
External collaboratorFraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
M.Sc. Claudius Schaufler claudius.schaufler@iao.fraunhofer.de
ID: 305267523