• Freiburg, Germany

City Summary

Freiburg, Germany, is known for its advanced environmental practices, including transport. The city’s long history promoting non-motorized transport has resulted in a large number of ecomobile commuting routes. Investments in systems kept them modernized. Today, Freiburg stands as an example of sustainable mobility. Sustainable thinking is visible in its design and its urban transport and mobility policy is recognized worldwide.

In the last years the share of trips made by bicycle improved strongly from 27% in 1999 to 34% in 2016 and the walking share from 23% in 1999 to 29% in 2016. Concerning infrastructure, some successful projects were made to promote ecomobility including the extension of bicycle network, especially the set up of two high-priority and high-comfort bicycle routes and the current extension of pedestrian zone.

Freiburg’s public transport approach is to keep prices low, increase the services, extend the use and become one of the most competitive systems in Germany. The past 10 years show a 100 % increase in public transportation use. Freiburg’s success in public transport is due to priority given to ecomobility over single occupant vehicles resulting in the lowest automobile density for any city in Germany (423 vehicles per 1,000 persons).

Targets/ Vision

Since 1969, the “General Urban Transport Policy” and the city‘s urban transport policy ensure mobility that does not adversely affect urban development, nature, and the environment. Since December 2006, transport is featured in the Transport development plan (VEP) 2020 and has been legally binding. Such document is in coordination with Land Use Plan 2020 (2006).

The VEP 2020 sets the successful promotion of public transport and cycling, including the construction of new urban railroads and the further development of the bicycle traffic network. With the promotion of walking, cycling and public transport, the city of Freiburg is striving to keep the number of motorcars at a moderate level despite the increasing mobility of people. The objectives and most important implementation steps of the VEP are:

  • Reduction of (motorized) traffic through integrated urban and traffic planning
  • Relocation of the car transport to the means of transport of the environmental consortium
  • Compatible handling of non-relocatable car transport including parking management system, car-sharing network and controlled development of the road network.

Finally, Freiburg expects to increase sustainable mobility by promoting public transport and low-carbon facilities, encouraging bike use, enhancing traffic demand management and developing intelligent transportation systems.

Achieved results


  • Designated large areas of the city pedestrian zones and appropriately redesigned including 1 km within the historic city center.
  • Implemented speed limits of 30 km/h or lower in 90% of residential areas.


  • Developed 420 km of cycle lanes with parking, way-finding and cycling map
  • Created 9,000 bike parking spaces in the city center and at “Bike & Ride” locations at public transport stops.

Public Transport:

  • Around 70% of all residents live near a public transport stop (500 meters of their home).
  • Transport system currently has 135 km of buses, 35km of tram and 250km of suburban rail.
  • Recent extension of the tramway network in 2013 and 2015.

City Statistics

Population (2015)
Area (in sq. kms)

Modal split (2016)

  • Walking 29%
  • Cycling 34%
  • Public transport 16%
  • Personal Car 21%


50% less CO2 by 2030, carbon-neutral by 2050

City News

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