• Münster, Germany

City Summary

Münster, one of the largest cities in Germany, assumes important functions for a region including the service, trade and administration center of the Westphalia region. The city was awarded the title of “Most livable city worldwide” in 2004 and holds the titles “Climate Capital of Germany”, “Most child-friendly city” and “Cycling Capital”.

The modal share consists of 71% use of environmentally friendly means of transport such bicycle, bus and train, as well as car-sharing or walking. Cycling is the most common means of transport in Münster as the result of the consistent, long-term cycle traffic planning and 70 years of policy promotion.  The city has been awarded the ADFC best cycling city in 2016 for the sixth time in a row since 1991. In addition, challenges to mobilize citizens that live in the outskirts with distances of eight to ten kilometers have been covered by cycling (20%).

Apart from the success in cycling, traffic planning in Münster considers all types of traffic with an integrative approach as the guiding principle of the city’s sustainable urban transport planning for many years. The City also makes an effort to inform citizens and visitors ways to choose an environmentally and climate-friendly modes of transport.  A new campaign for climate friendly mobility shows examples how to move flexibly and environmentally friendly within the city.

Targets/ Vision

The city of Münster targets to improve its current modal share by the promotion of walking, cycling, and public transport, as well as car-sharing and lifts as well as mobility advice services.  The goal of the city is stress-free cooperation of all traffic participants on Münster’s streets.

The 3rd Urban Transport Plan (3.Nahverkehrsplan Stadt Münster) (2016) defines the guidelines for operating quality(networks, lines, cycles, service times) and quality transport  (personnel, vehicles, infrastructure, communication and information) for city bus and regional bus services. . The goals of the Münster Mobility concept 2025 include:

  • Increase public transport at the modal split in Münster to 15% which in turn contributes to the overall objectives of the Münster2020 climate protection concept.
  • Reduce the level of fine particulate matter and NO2 emissions in the vicinity of residential buildings in the urban area through the air quality plan.
  • Develop a Noise Action Plan with measures designed to reduce the impact on road traffic affected by noise.
  • Provides accessibility in public transport in order to ensure the participation of people with reduced mobility or disabilities.
  • Consider gender issues as public transport is more often used by women than by men.
  • From the end of March 2018 five additional electrified buses will be used in city bus traffic, additionally it is planned to obtain electric fuel cell buses and hydrogen buses.

Achieved results


  • Provided barrier-free crossings, which ensure road safety for pedestrians
  • Added ability to block circuit of light signal systems in order to save the pedestrians from long waiting times at the traffic lights by crossing the road without interruption
  • Elected to be “Most livable city worldwide” in 2004
  • Regulated all residential areas to be 30 km/hr zones


  • Münster has defended its title as the most bicycle-friendly city in Germany by The German National Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) since 1991.
  • Has 470 kms of cycling lanes
  • Realized a 20 min per day average commuting time by bicycle
  • Built the largest bike station in Germany with 3,300 parking places with capacity for over 500,000 bicycles

Public Transport:

  • Established eight train routes and 18 regional bus lines

City Statistics

Population (2016)
Area (in sq. kms)

Modal split (2013)

  • Walking 22%
  • Cycling 39%
  • Public transport 10%
  • Personal Car 29%


Reduce CO2 emissions by 40 % by 2020 (compared to 1990).  (Climate Protection 2050)

Raise the share of renewable energy use to 20 % by 2020

City News

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    Foto: Presseamt Münster / Tilman Roßmöller”