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    Environmental effects of traffic

    Mobility, especially motorised traffic, is bound to produce undesirable side effects. These include, in particular, environmental pollution caused by emissions of pollutants, greenhouse gases and noise.

    The environmental impacts considered include in particular emissions of pollutants, greenhouse gases and noise.

    What it is about

    The planning of transport systems has long been geared towards minimising harmful environmental impacts. In the meantime, however, reducing and avoiding pollution has become an independent policy and planning objective.

    Transport in the area of conflict between desire and reality

    Reducing or avoiding the negative environmental impacts of transport comes at a price: abandoning cherished habits, foregoing economic efficiency gains or switching to new, more expensive technologies. In our view, a society cannot avoid deciding what price it is willing to pay – for the environment on the one hand and the economy on the other. We see our task here as creating a solid factual basis on which such decisions can be made rationally.

    The increasing social sensitivity to environmental and climate issues is a challenge for assessment procedures in the transport sector. There can be no market price for the “public good” environment. Therefore, it is imperative to incorporate the social values regarding environmental impacts into the macroeconomic evaluations.

    From preference-based approaches to damage and avoidance cost approaches: We are familiar with the relevant “methods of measurement” and know their strengths and weaknesses. We follow current scientific findings and feed this knowledge into the further development of existing valuation methods.

    In the Paris Agreement, the Federal Republic of Germany committed itself to meeting climate protection targets. Nationally, corresponding sector-specific milestones have been agreed, including for the transport sector. The question arises as to what must be done to achieve these targets.

    This question is complex and can be posed in different ways:

    • What measures (push and pull) are needed to achieve these targets?
    • Which measures are most suitable to achieve these goals?
    • What implications do which measures have for the infrastructure and financing needs of different modes of transport?

    If, for example, a large part of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in passenger transport is to be brought about by a modal shift to public transport, the capacities (offers and infrastructure) there must be massively expanded in order to achieve a significant effect.

    With our methods and tools, we are able to address these issues both from a higher-level perspective and in detail at the fine-scale level.

    Air transport demand and its environmental impacts must always be recorded consistently and taken into account accordingly, especially in the case of capacity-relevant infrastructure measures. For downstream impact analyses, we regularly provide well-founded traffic volume frameworks, which we consistently derive from the determined demand development.

    In the area of air traffic, for example, we directly implement the specifics prescribed in aircraft noise legislation and describe all relevant traffic aspects:

    • The aircraft movements to be taken into account in the busiest six months
    • by time of day, and differentiated by aircraft group and flight direction (if necessary, also more detailed)
    • at the relevant (forecast) time horizon.

    How we support you

    • We analyse and forecast the environmental impacts of transport measures, strategies or concepts. In doing so, we take into account technological trends, developments in traffic behaviour and the local traffic situation.
    • We show which measures would be necessary or suitable in order to achieve certain goals for the reduction of environmental pollution. If conceivable and realisable measures are not sufficient, we point out the boundary conditions of a technological, legal or organisational manner that would be necessary to achieve the goals.
    • We offer you a holistic view of environmental impacts – where necessary also across means of transport and countries, e.g. in comprehensive CO2 balances.
    • In this way, we provide you with an important basis for strategy development and political decision-making. We also support you in communicating these principles to political bodies or the public.

    What our clients value

    • We stand for an unbiased view of this socially and politically sensitive issue. Our clients benefit from our unbiased view as independent experts.
    • Our clients trust our well-founded quantitative statements, which we draw up on the basis of an extensive and constantly evolving fact base.
    • We always derive our results transparently and prepare them in a comprehensible and understandable manner. In this way, we enable our clients to grasp the results and draw their own conclusions.



    The environmental aspects of infrastructural and transport measures often play a central role in our projects. They are particularly important in relation to:

    • Public transport expansion in Darmstadt in the course of the transport transformation
    • Standardised evaluation
    • Analysis of cost rates for environmentally relevant effects of transport measures
    • Datengrundlagen für die Fluglärmbewertung