Nordhausen, StadtLandMobilität

Emissions-free and Newly Interconnected

How can sustainable mobility be organized for both cities and rural areas? One of the goals that is being debated throughout Germany is to make public transportation (PT) more financially viable in the long term, make it more attractive in rural areas, and expand it in a resource-efficient way. In addition to improving access to rural areas, there is also a need to improve the carbon footprint: The mobility sector is responsible for more than a quarter of CO2 emissions in the city of Nordhausen and the surrounding district. Furthermore, preserving the city's 100-year-old tram system is important to the people of Nordhausen. To achieve these goals, the city and district are working together on an integrated StadtLand Mobility Concept that seeks to find environmentally and socially sustainable solutions for climate-friendly transportation. The overall goal is emissions-free mobility by 2040, with equal priority given to the expansion of PT, pedestrian and cycling traffic in both city and district.

Cooperative work is the foundation for future developments in several ways. Since the Citizen Workshops in 2015 on the development of the Nordhausen Climate Region, alternative financing options for PT and a PT flat rate have been discussed, the first electric buses have been introduced, e-ticketing has been prepared, and the expansion of electric charging infrastructure has been promoted by the local energy provider. Based on this work, the integrated mobility concept for the city and district of Nordhausen was jointly developed at the end of 2020. Representatives from associations, administration, and politics came together to share their knowledge on how to make traffic flows more sustainable; citizen interventions tested initial measures such as the €1 ticket or cycling to work. The team red Deutschland GmbH then developed the integrated StadtLand Mobility Concept. The spatial guiding principles of the ›10-Minute City‹ and ›30-Minute District‹ were developed as part of this concept. Within these time frames, all essential facilities should be reachable by foot, bike, or bus and train. This could lead to future settlement development based on a carbon-neutral mobility structure.

As unpretentious as the approach may sound, the concept represents a radical reversal of planning, in which traffic planning often stands in the way of complete solutions. Rather, spatial development is now being thought through from the perspective of climate-friendly accessibility. However, a good PT service and a dense network of bike and pedestrian paths will be difficult to achieve in areas beyond the settlement focal points and axes. Therefore, the focus here is on systems that strengthen social cohesion in the regions, such as carpooling benches, new commuter portals, or neighborhood car-sharing. As commercial services, on-demand transport can complement PT services and link them to services along the axes. In strongly peripheral settlement structures, the private car still plays a central role. However, to enable a transfer to emissions-free mobility, a supply of (semi-)public electric charging stations in collaboration with local service providers and businesses is necessary.

The concept of the 10- or 15-minute city is not new; the principle of short distances has existed for some time, and in larger cities, the offerings within the city center are already quite dense. But what does implementation beyond that look like? This is precisely where the mobility concept in the city and district of Nordhausen comes in. Proposed measures for implementation include, in addition to settlement development, a continuously expanded cycling network with parking and carrying options for connecting transportation, a smart digital and analog networking of rail, bus, (e-)bike, and sharing offerings, the acceleration of public transportation through traffic priority, a denser schedule for public transportation—every 10 minutes within the city, every 20 minutes outside, and at least hourly on the outskirts—as well as over 40 additional measures to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation development. Thanks to the 49-euro ticket, public transportation will remain affordable and can be complemented by additional subscription models, such as sharing systems or rental models. In addition to the spatial concept, quantitative goals have also been defined: the share of private car traffic in the city and district should be halved by 2040, the share of cycling and public transportation more than doubled, and one-third more people should be walking in the district than today. These goals are based on cross-factional coordination in a joint committee meeting of the city and district. Regular monitoring in the future will help measure goal achievement.

The partners agree that measures such as the e-car subsidy are not sufficient to act more climate-friendly. Rather, mobility habits must change. For this purpose, the world does not need to be reinvented, but only developed in a more multifunctional way, offerings shifted back to local areas, and motivation for more joy in movement through walking and cycling revitalized. The mobility concept names measures that can be implemented quickly from 2023 onwards: virtual bus stops will be tested to personalize public transportation, (public) car parking spaces in residential areas will be converted into covered and lockable bicycle parking facilities as an example, the introduction of car-sharing offerings is planned for municipal administrations, the installation of at least one ride-sharing bench per district will be implemented, and the introduction of a speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour will be examined on all legally possible roads in the city and district. A new mobility manager will coordinate integrated mobility in the future.


Stadt und Landkreis Nordhausen

Project Sponsors

Project Partners

Landkreis Nordhausen


Thüringer Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Landwirtschaft, Thüringer Richtlinie zur Förderung von Projekten und Maßnahmen der Regionalentwicklung und zur Gestaltung der Folgen des demografischen Wandels

IBA Project Manager

Kerstin Faber


Klimaregion Nordhausen im IBA Finale 2023
Mitmach-Initiativen zum Themenschwerpunkt Radverkehr durchgeführt
Interventionen dem Thema Fußverkehr in Nordhausen
ÖPNV Aktionswoche mit Bus-Gesprächen durchgeführt
Erarbeitung des integrierten Mobilitätskonzepts startet
Abschlussforum zur ›Zukunftsstadt Nordhausen‹
Bürgerwerkstätten für Zukunftsstadt
Startschuss für die ›Zukunftsstadt‹
IBA Fachbeirat empfiehlt Kandidatenstatus für die Klimaregion Nordhausen

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