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Aachen

Aachen is a city of 259,269 inhabitants, located in western Germany. It was known already in ancient times as a spa town and later as an important political site (where for instance German kings were crowned) and transport hub. Local transport system has been reformed preferring public transport and cycling

The modal split in Aachen in 2003 showed 24 percent favour walking, 14 percent favour public transport, 10 percent enjoy biking and 52 percent rely on motor vehicles. Aachen’s management of urban transport gained impetus in 2007 when PM10 concentrations exceeded permissible thresholds. At this point it became necessary to establish the Integrated Air Quality Action Plan.

Following the polluter pays principle the city’s strategic approach to transport management focused on the main polluting source, ie. traffic. Curbing car traffic flow and use of low-emission buses were the main responses. A more attractive bus timetable was also launched alongside with the so-called “Job Ticket Campaign” for promoting public transport use.

Public transport has also been promoted through architecture too: the bus terminal is a spectacular glasshouse which leads to an underground parking garage. A famous architect, Peter Eisenman was also involved in designing a bus stop in the city center. Over time, biking gained high popularity – partly due to infrastructure developments e.g. bike and ride facilities, and partly due to the high rate if university students in the city.

Aachen works on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Aachen, the technical college, the University of Aachen, the city’s University of Applied Sciences, the local transport company, the city’s Retail Trade Federation, Hotel and Pubs Representatives, NGOs, and others.

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