Network characteristics in Germany and Switzerland 1970-2005. Data: Traffic in numbers, 2005/2006; 1991 (Germany), 1970-1990 only Old States, 1995-2005 current German territory, Swiss Federal Statistical Office (Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Kay W. Axhausen | Traffic and Transport Planning

Spatial Accessibility and the Dynamics of Commuter Integration in Germany and Switzerland 1970-2005

The central theme of this investigation is the change in structure of professional commuter patterns of travel, and their behaviour as a function of the dynamic of spatial accessibility and population dispersion since 1970. This project defends 3 hypotheses:

a) that suburban spaces have uncoupled themselves from their respective cities over time, and this evolution from Suburbia to „Zwischenstadt“ (urban sprawl) has served to reduce traffic patterns in relationship to commuting

b) that developments of high density decrease the presence of commuting, even when incoming and outgoing traffic are included in analysis, and

c) that the impact of further accessibility improvements has significantly decreased. Comparisons between Germany and Switzerland identify the effects of varied approaches to national spatial and transportation planning.

Methodologically speaking, this project requires the deliniation of areas of commuter patterns. Traditional patterns clearly show the regional movements associated with every community. Overlapping incoming and outgoing areas are thus ignored. A new process must be developed, in which overlapping areas are automatically identified and potential „clusters“ of goals and sources can be identified. Furthermore, alternative classification for the amount of traffic flow between origin and goal must be developed, which must be explained through a spatially statistical system. Finally, the usual discreet decision model of transportation and destination choice must be expanded in order to form an accurate picture of the effects of spatial correlations.

Participants from IVT

K.W. Axhausen
V. Killer


Swiss national science foundation
German research foundation


University of Dortmund, Department of Transportation and Transportation Planning

Anna Weber
Christian Holz-Rau
Dennis Guth
Joachim Schreiner

Project timeframe

03.2008 – 04.2012


Completed project