Car use in German cities

As in many other countries, the car is the main mode of transport to work in Germany. In 2008 about 65 % of all journeys to work were done by car. However, the car’s modal split share is decreasing – in 2004 the rate was at 68 %. The graph below shows the car use in German cities for the years 2001, 2004 and 2008. All three years show a negative relation between city size and car use: The bigger the city, the smaller is the share of the car compared to other transport modes. Certainly this has to do with restrictions to car traffic in inner cities, congestion, better public transport and usually a higher density of population and work places.


I was inspired to this graph by a different graph from the book The Spatial Organization of Society, on page 157 (reprinted in this geography textbook, p. 266). It shows the cost curves of different activities as transport, eduction etc. related to the size of a city. The conclusion is, the middle-sized cities may be most efficient. As I will work with medium-sized cities in a forthcoming project I am interested in that conclusion. However, the example above does not support that – though I know it is not about economic efficiency, but just about the use in reality. But may be you have some examples on where medium-sized cities have clear advantages opposite larger cities?

I retrieved the data for 40 German cities from the Eurostat/Urban Audit database.

~ by landblend on 25/03/2013.

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