- Sustainable Transport in Germany and the US: A comparison of the Washington, DC and Stuttgart Regions   click here to open paper content196 kb
by    Jung, Wolfgang & Buehler, Ralph | wolfgang.jung@kit.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Washington, DC and Stuttgart regions serve as examples for differences
and similarities of the German and US systems of land-use and transport
planning. We highlight best practice examples for sustainable planning in
both countries using case studies of Scharnhauser Park and Arlington
Federal, state, and local governments in the United States and Germany aim
to reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from
transport, which accounts for an increasing share of energy consumption and
GHG emissions. In 2010, in both countries the vast majority (~95 percent)
of energy for transport came from petroleum and carbon dioxide (CO2)
accounted for about 95 percent of GHG emissions from transport. Tackling
emissions from ground passenger transport has proven difficult, because
improvements in technological efficiency of cars and fuels can be off-set
by heavier vehicles, more powerful engines, and longer travel distances
(the so-called “rebound effect”). Besides technology, passenger transport
emissions and energy use depend on individual decisions about residential
location, vehicle ownership, transport mode choice, number of trips, and
travel distance. Land-use and transport planning can help influence
individual travel choices and reduce GHG emissions from transport.

This paper compares transport and land-use policies in Germany and the U.S.
in order to identify best practices in decreasing CO2 emissions from
passenger transport through changes in travel demand. The Washington, DC
and Stuttgart regions serve as examples for similarities and differences
between Germany and the United States in land-use planning, transport
systems, coordination of transportation and land-use planning, and
sustainable transport. For our comparison we use large datasets from
national and regional household travel surveys to compare trends in travel
behaviour. Moreover, we use a case study approach to analyse differences in
transport and land-use planning in one best practice sustainable community
from each region. The paper concludes with policy lessons for both

The Washington, DC metro and Stuttgart regions mirror national differences
in travel behaviour—with more car use in the DC area. Moreover,
dissimilarities in travel behaviour are greater within the DC metro than in
the Stuttgart region: the cities of Washington, DC and Stuttgart have
almost comparable mode shares of car use. However, outlying suburbs in the
DC metro region are much more car dependent than outlying suburbs in the
Stuttgart region. This is also a result of different land-use and
settlement patterns, influenced either by individual choices and policies
of spatial development.

In both countries, federal, state, and local governments implement policies
that influence spatial development and land use. However, in Germany
different levels of government coordinate their spatial plans in an
interactive process. In the United States, spatial planning remains
fragmented across jurisdictional boundaries, uncoordinated between levels
of government, and typically not integrated with planning for
transportation. Land-use planning in Germany and the United States
traditionally separate types of land-uses in the tradition of the Charta
Athens. This practice is more problematic in the United States, where the
separation of land uses is stricter and zones cover larger land areas than
in Germany.

Although there are big differences in land-use and transportation planning
systems between the two countries and the two regions, successful cases of
coordination of transport and land-use planning share many similarities.
Case studies of Arlington County, Virginia, and Scharnhauser Park near
Stuttgart show best practice examples for coordinating land-use and
transport planning. The two case studies highlight the need for
coordinating planning for transportation, land use, economic development,
and housing – and also show how to achieve more sustainable transport.

Note: This paper is an updated version of a published case study by Buehler
and Jung: Transport and Land-Use Planning in Germany and the US: Lessons
from the Stuttgart and Washington, DC Regions, AICGS Policy Report 53.
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