Expert opinion on the effects of environmental traffic restrictions in municipalities for the BW IHK Day



Integrated locations and inner cities are supposed to fulfil many functions of everyday life: Living, working, cultural pursuits, and shopping in a city-friendly mix. Because of their high density of functions, however, cities also contribute significantly to emissions of noise, exhaust fumes, and greenhouse gases. Motorized private transport (MPT) in particular has become the subject of many controversies as it takes up a large part of the limited public space in cramped inner cities and causes emissions of greenhouse gases, pollutants, and noise. To remain viable as places of residence, work, and production, cities and municipalities must not only meet high environmental standards – especially the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive and Environmental Noise Directive –, but also stay below the required limits by taking further measures towards a sustainable and liveable (urban) region. This necessitates innovative, advanced approaches of urban development and transport planning.

As a representative of public interests and as the political body of the economy, the Day of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Baden-Württemberg (BW IHK Day) deals with the requirements and consequences of the clean air and noise action planning in the state’s municipalities following the EU directives 2008/50/EC (Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe) and 2002/49/EC (Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise). In Baden-Württemberg, primarily clean air/action plans for cities affected by exceeding the EU short-term limits for particulates exist or are in development. However, the BW IHK Day considers general traffic restrictions and bans in urban areas to be excessive in many cases. For example, bans and restricted access can lead to particular hardship when essential institutions – be it from the point of view of customers or commercial transport – can no longer be accessed. As an alternative the BW IHK Day suggests measures such as updating the vehicle fleet to the EU 6/VI emission standard as quickly as possible.


Objective and structure of the project:

The BW IHK Day tasked the ISB with providing an expert opinion on the effects of environmental traffic restrictions in municipalities. The project summarizes measures for reducing noise and pollutant emissions and describes their effect on people and the environment. This constitutes the basis for assessing the effects of popular measures for different industries (transport, retail, and other sectors) on traffic and economics in personal, spatial and other contexts (e.g. commuters, accessibility of inner cities and business parks, urbanity in municipalities).

Furthermore, the effectiveness of alternative, city- and economy-friendly measures for reducing noise and pollutant emissions – e.g. mobility management, urban logistics – will be described as a basis for evaluating the proportionality of individual measures or measure bundles. In order to describe economic and traffic effects and the effectiveness of measures currently under discussion, today’s requirements of noise and air quality in Germany are defined. The project will also shed light on the evaluation system and which measures are taken when limit values are exceeded, so as to achieve liveable spaces and minimize restrictions for trade and the economy at the same time.


Project duration:

July 2016 – December 2016


Contacts at the ISB:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Vallée