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Urban nodes in transnational transport

Study for the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)

Project Goal

Passenger and freight transport often originate or terminate in urban space, which also serves as hub to link different transport modes. Consequently, the European policy to develop Trans-European Networks for Transport (TEN-T) has attributed particular importance to cities in their function as urban nodes in the overall development of the European transport network, as interface between short- and long-distance transport.


In this context, the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) has contracted Rupprecht Consult, Spatial Foresight and TCP International to study urban nodes in Germany in the context of transnational transport.


A central task of this study is to collect, for the first time, consistent comprehensive information on the current state of development and planning in the 13 urban nodes of the TEN-T core network in Germany (Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Hannover, Köln, Leipzig/Halle, Mannheim, München, Nürnberg, Stuttgart) in the context of transnational transport and to formulate strategies on how the nodes can integrate the opportunities and challenges of the TEN-T better into their planning processes. The overall aim is to better position the urban nodes in Germany in European and international competition.

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A thorough analysis of the current situation of the 13 urban nodes of the core network concerning the awareness, activities and obstacles as well as an overview of the corridor secretariats relevant for Germany will be based on:

  • comprehensive literature, document and internet research,
  • interviews with representatives of the urban nodes,
  • an online survey of additional stakeholders of the urban nodes and the metropolitan areas to include other perspectives and
  • interviews with the corridor secretariats


The following three key questions will be answered by the study:

  1. How successful are the urban nodes in Germany currently in implementing their interface function, which strategies, topics and measures do they pursue and implement and which challenges do they meet?
  2. Which local, regional and national strategies are helpful in better positioning the German urban nodes in the TEN-T to allow them to better live up to their role in the medium and long term?
  3. Which approaches (political, content-related, organisational) are being followed by other urban nodes in the European Member States and which of them are also of interest for the urban nodes in Germany?


Two workshops will be carried out to discuss and further develop the results of the analysis with representatives of the 13 urban nodes and to allow for exchange between the nodes. In the second workshop, stakeholders from nodes outside Germany will also be invited for an exchange on best practice.


In the end, strategy elements and recommendations for the further development of the urban nodes in Germany will be formulated:

  • General content-related recommendations for all nodes
  • Node-specific recommendations for action
  • Recommendations directed to the federal government and the federal states
  • Recommendations for spatial reserach
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Role of Rupprecht Consult


Project Duration

02/2017 - 10/2018

Project Coordinator

Rupprecht Consult GmbH

Project Partners

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© Rupprecht Consult - Forschung und Beratung GmbH 18.11.2017