Projections for the City of Bielefeld predict population growth rather than a shrinking as expected in most other German mid-sized cities. A plus of more than 6 % is expected for the City of Bielefeld until 2025. Owing to its two institutions of higher education, the University and the University of Applied Sciences, the population of Bielefeld is very young and dynamic. More than 30,000 students live in the urban part of the city and this is expected to increase to 35,000 by 2025. Both universities are important employers within the city.
The City of Bielefeld developed a “Verkehrsentwicklungsplan” (“pre-SUMP”) in 1994. This should be updated to meet the Commission’s SUMP guidelines. One of the principles of Bielefeld´s approach is to involve citizens and stakeholders already at an early stage of the SUMP process. On 19 June 2008 the City Council passed an aspiring Action Plan (Handlungsprogramm Klimaschutz) to reach the city´s climate goals – which are highly linked to the Kyoto Protocol.
- Reducing the CO2 emissions by 40 percent until 2020 (basis 1990) and
- Increasing the share of renewable energy by up to 20 percent.
These targets will be reached by 2020.
The city administration also introduced an action plan to reduce noise in the city (Lärmaktionsplan) in 2010. It will be updated in 2015 including information on results that have been achieved so far.
In 2014, the city administration introduced an Action Plan to improve the air quality (Luftreinhalteplan). Road traffic was identified as one of the main causes of air pollution in Bielefeld.
The share of green means of transport is already very high, in total 46% of all trips. However, Bielefeld wants to improve the conditions for cyclists, walkers and public transport users.
The public transport network has been improved in the past years and there are plans for further improvements in the future. These improvements will not only take place within the boundaries of the city, since surrounding regions which are highly linked with the city will also be included in this process. The improvements include very well-planned extensions of bus and tram lines and a more frequent service.
The integration of mobility management aspects into the public transport sector is one of the most important objectives of the city. In recent years, the installation of dynamic real-time information systems has highly improved the quality of public transport. Additional actions, for example the introduction of mobile tickets and a better access for disabled people, have strengthened this effect.