Jump label

Service navigation

Main navigation

You are here:

Main content

Spatial Accessibility and the Dynamics of Commuting in Germany and Switzerland 1970 to 2005 (2008-2011)

Project description:

This project examines the question as to whether post-suburbanisation leads to travel reducing spatial structures. It aims to test three hypotheses derived from the literature:


Project goals:

Das Vorhaben testet drei Hypothesen, die in der Literatur vertreten werden:

  1. that the suburban fringes have decoupled from their respective core cities and that this 'maturation' of suburbia leads to a reduction in commuting distances;

  2. that high-density settlements with a balanced work-housing mix are associated with low commuting volumes (i.e. shorter home to work distances) even when incoming and outgoing trips are considered jointly and

  3. that the effect of further improvements in accessibility on commuter behaviour declines markedly over time, given that a high level of accessibility has already been achieved, due to saturation effects

The comparison between Germany and Switzerland allows for an identification of the effects of different spatial planning and transport planning strategies.

Project methodology:

In terms of methodology, the project requires (among other things) the delineation of commuter catchment areas. Usual methods assign municipalities to exactly one catchment area, ignoring the overlapping of catchment areas. Therefore, new procedures have to be developed that can automatically identify overlapping catchment areas and possible clusterings of origins / destinations in the catchment area. Furthermore, new procedures for allocating transport volume to origin and destination have to be developed so that transport volume can be explained with methodologies of spatial statistics. Finally, the usual discrete models of mode choice and destination choice have to be expanded in order to catch possible effects of spatial correlation.



Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Schweizer Nationalfonds (SNF)


Project partner:

Institut für Verkehrsplanung und Transportsysteme der ETH Zürich (Prof. Axhausen)

Sub content


Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner
Associate Professor
Tel.: 0231 755-4822
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Holz-Rau
Tel.: 0231 755-2270

More Information about the  Workshop 2009 are  here