Leoben (Austria)

Leoben is a Styrian city in central Austria on the banks of the Mur River. With about 25,000 inhabitants, it is a regional industrial center and hosts the University of Leoben, which specializes in mining. The picturesque city aims sustainable transport system - with emphasis on walking and bicycling.

Leoben had a modal split of 50 percent for private cars (drivers and passengers); 26 percent for walking; 15 percent cycling; and 9 percent for public transport, according to data provided by Leoben City Hall in the summer of 2011.

Leoben implemented a traffic development plan in 2000 with a running period of 12 years. The plan was updated in 2010 with a raft of measures to be carried out by 2020. The plan's main goals are:

  • to extend pedestrian and cycling paths;
  • to improve the public transport system in and around the city;
  • to give commercial transport better accessibility to industrial sites;
  • to make the city center more accessible to both private and commercial transport; and
  • to limit the number of cars in the city center.

Progress toward a more sustainable mobility system has been good, with 80 percent of the planned measures from the first period of the traffic development plan having been implemented by 2010. The revised plan addresses new challenges and development patterns. 

An example of innovation in Leoben was the construction of a new cycling and walking path. As part of a recently installed hydroelectric plant by the Austrian Hydro Power company, a dike was created on the banks of the Mur. Leoben seized the opportunity by running a new cycling and walking path along the top of the dike, creating a traffic-free facility that connects the city’s districts.

In the field of clean vehicles and alternative fuels, the City of Leoben now offers a natural gas filling station as well as a charging station for electric cars.

For future work on sustainable mobility, a major challenge will be to provide commuters better public transport connections between the center and nearby metropolitan areas and the surrounding region. Leoben also plans to expand the cycling and walking path along the river and to promote cycling in general.

In terms of civic partnerships in the mobility field, the recent cycling and walking path construction involved cooperation between City Hall and the Austrian Hydro Power company. In carrying out mobility project in general, the city consults advisers to learn about new trends and gain important knowledge for future developments.

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