School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

A contribution to the road network design according to environmentally relevant aspects

Against the backdrop of the increasing encapsulation of natural habitats and the associated consequential effects of

  • the extinction of isolated animal and plant populations, and
  • the shift of the species composition in favor of specialists

in present work, a modified consideration of environmental effects in the transport planning process is proposed and analyzed in more detail.

Problems and conflict situations in the natural, undeveloped environment, the causes of which are to be found in particular in recognizable action potentials of road network design, make the replacement of the current guiding principle of traffic planning "urban compatible traffic" by a new guiding principle "urban and environmentally compatible traffic" appear desirable.

In the new model, the objectives of preserving natural resources by avoiding additional fragmentation and expanding natural habitats by reducing existing environmental impairments as a result of the existing road and path network should be established as enrichments and additions to the proven objectives.

Scope for action to implement these objectives in planning does exist. For example, a case study investigation in more than three municipalities of the district of Wesel has shown that a network optimization

  • result in land gains in undissected areas and the proportional increase of larger contiguous areas,
  • reduce route length and traffic work in sensitive areas and
  • can reduce network density and the proportion of sealed area,

without unacceptably compromising the traffic and non-traffic functions of the street and road network.

Further study is needed before a new vision can be fully developed. Nevertheless, this contribution to road network design according to environmentally relevant aspects provides rudimentary evidence that the introduction of a procedurally anchored environmental impact assessment of the traffic network structure and traffic network density (plan EIA) as a supplement to the common project-related studies (project EIA) can effectively contribute to the environmentally oriented design of traffic networks - and thus to minimizing the effects of congestion and fragmentation.

This Abstract was translated from German with deepL and could be faulty.

Weitere Infos über #UniWuppertal: