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Last week, PLANUM, represented by our Vienna office manager Julian Kundegraber, had the pleasure of holding a stimulating and in-depth discussion with the MBA Sustainable Mobility Management program at TU Berlin about transalpine freight transport in Austria.

 

During this event, the prospective mobility managers not only gained valuable insights into the process and challenges of data collection from a project organization perspective, but were also able to develop a comprehensive understanding of the complex structures of European freight transport. Particularly impressive was the detailed discussion of the areas of tension in transport policy at EU level, which once again emphasized the importance of a well-founded and precise data basis.

 

The discussion also highlighted the critical role of sustainable mobility strategies, particularly in the context of the European Green Deal. This aims to make the transport infrastructure in Europe more environmentally friendly and efficient and thus make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. The participants were encouraged to think about innovative solutions that are both ecologically and economically sustainable.

 

In addition to the technical depth, the event was characterized by a high level of interactivity. The participants contributed their own perspectives and experiences, which led to a lively and constructive discussion. Topics such as the promotion of rail freight transport, the optimization of logistics processes and the integration of new technologies were discussed in depth.

 

Another highlight was the examination of the current political framework and its influence on the development of freight transport. The discussions made it clear how important it is to base political decisions on solid data and sound analyses in order to develop sustainable solutions in the long term.

This exchange showed once again that cooperation between educational institutions and practitioners is invaluable. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience creates a fertile basis for innovative and sustainable mobility solutions.

 

PLANUM would like to thank all participants and partners for the inspiring discussions and looks forward to further fruitful collaborations in the future. Together, we are committed to developing sustainable and future-oriented solutions in the field of European freight transport.

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Pioneering mobility solutions for Laakirchen

The town of Laakirchen commissioned PLANUM Fallast & Partner GmbH to draw up an integrated mobility concept in spring 2024. This concept aims to make the city’s mobility sustainable and improve the quality of life of its citizens. The focus is on promoting active mobility, road safety and the creation of a barrier-free transport infrastructure.

Initial situation and task

PLANUM was already involved in the creation of the urban development vision in 2018/2019, together with the architecture firm INSTERA. Due to the dynamic developments in the mobility sector and changing objectives, the municipality of Laakirchen has decided to update the area of mobility and to show the city implementation options that will contribute to the fulfillment of objectives in the long term.

Transport policy objectives and principles

  1. Coordination with the 2019 urban development mission statement: The objectives of the mobility concept are based on the fields of action of the 2019 urban development mission statement.

  2. Road safety as a priority: The safety of all road users is the top priority, especially active mobility such as pedestrians and cyclists.

  3. Design concept for the city center (main square): Creation of an attractive and safe city center through traffic calming and fairer (street) space distribution.

  4. Sustainable mobility: Promotion of environmentally friendly forms of mobility such as walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

  5. Cooperation with the region: Close cooperation with neighboring municipalities to create an integrated mobility system.

  6. City of short distances: Promotion of local mobility in order to reach important destinations on foot or by bike within 15 minutes.

  7. Barrier-free accessibility: Ensuring that all citizens, including people with mobility impairments, can use public spaces without restriction.

Recommendations for action

Main square meeting zone

The transformation of the main square in Laakirchen into a pedestrian zone can lead to an increase in traffic safety and have a positive effect on the quality of life. The key data of the meeting zone are:

  • Traffic calming: Introduction of a speed limit of 20 km/h

  • Equitable distribution of space: adaptation of road space for equal use by all road users

  • Test phase and involvement of the population: Implementation of a test phase of at least six months to evaluate acceptance and optimization options.

Sustainable mobility for Laakirchen

Environmentally friendly forms of mobility are to be strengthened. The options for implementation/recommendations for action include

  • Promotion of non-motorized mobility: expansion of infrastructure for walking and cycling

  • Prioritization of public transport: improving the availability and accessibility of public transport

  • Integration of new forms of mobility: Introduction of car sharing, bike sharing and promotion of electromobility

Accessibility for all means of transportation

The recommendations for action to improve accessibility for all modes of transport include:

  • Barrier-free accessibility: Ensuring unrestricted use of public spaces for all citizens.

  • Multimodal nodes: Creation of linking points between different modes of transportation.

Design measures and traffic calming

In addition to the establishment of a pedestrian zone, additional design measures to calm traffic are recommended:

  • Ground markings and lowering of kerbs: Improving safety and accessibility through targeted structural measures

  • Unsealing and greening: creating rain gardens and other nature-based solutions to improve the quality of life and adapt to climate change

Strengthening active mobility

Active mobility is to be promoted through a dense network of footpaths and cycle paths as well as measures to increase road safety:

  • Routing: creating direct and seamless connections for pedestrians and cyclists

  • Ensure local supply in sub-areas: Promotion of self-service stores and other alternative solutions to ensure local supply.

With these recommendations for action, the Laakirchen 2024 mobility concept aims to accompany the town on its way to a sustainable and more liveable environment. PLANUM Fallast & Partner GmbH is committed to developing innovative and practice-oriented solutions that meet the needs of citizens.

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In a world that is constantly changing, lifelong learning is more than just a buzzword – it’s a necessity. This is especially true in dynamic areas such as sustainable mobility, where technologies, best practices and societal expectations are continuously evolving. At PLANUM, we take this challenge seriously and actively invest in the further training of our employees.

Mobility is a complex ecosystem, and walking is increasingly recognized as an important component, not just something you do. In order to meet this growing demand, Climate Alliance Austria has developed a specialized pedestrian traffic course. This intensive program, spread over 2×2 days, covers a wide range of topics – from the psychology of pedestrian traffic to innovative approaches to urban planning.

Our employee Paul Matteo Kofler has successfully completed the first part of the course. For us, this is a reason to celebrate and another step towards sustainable urban development. The participation underlines the importance of young people’s contribution to the mobility transition and represents a generation that is actively working to shape a sustainable future!

The knowledge gained in the course is of great value to us. They enable us to enrich our projects and initiatives in the field of sustainable mobility with fresh ideas and proven methods. We are more prepared than ever to develop innovative and effective solutions to the complex challenges of modern urban mobility.

We look forward to incorporating this newly acquired knowledge into our future projects!

Contact person:

Paul Kofler


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Feasibility Study on the Implementation of a Tram System in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)

For the feasibility study on the implementation of a streetcar system in the capital of Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain, a detailed analysis of the mobility offer was made at the beginning. With the help of the resident institutions and ministries, data was gathered that made this analysis possible, and more was compiled through Internet research and in close consultation with the clients. The analysis resulted in a SWOT analysis, which was used as a basis for the development of the streetcar solution.

In a further step, forecasts for further development, in particular with regard to traffic development, were drawn up on the basis of population development. Assumptions were made about the current modal split, as there is no meaningful data on this. The clients agreed with the assumptions, which made it possible to calculate the displacement potential for the streetcar based on the forecasts made.

Finally, based on the forecasts and the displacement potential, rough cost calculations were made to assess whether the implementation of a streetcar system is profitable or not. The feasibility study was rounded out by a utility analysis comparing the streetcar system to the (congested) existing system and an expansion of the existing bus system. The calculations showed that it is worthwhile for Port of Spain to consider implementation, as it can bring social and economic benefits in addition to environmental effects.

Figure: Potential streetcar corridor through Port of Spain with connections to neighboring cities (PLANUM 2023 with data from opentopomap.org, 2023).

Figure: Benefit analysis for the streetcar system in Port of Spain (PLANUM 2023)

Contact person:

Anna-Sophie Klamminger, Kurt Fallast

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The gradual conversion of the one-way ring road in Gleisdorf (“Gleisdorfer Ring”) from two to one lane has made it possible to reuse the additional road space gained, which is being used to expand the pedestrian and cycle path infrastructure on the basis of the cycling concept of the Province of Styria. PLANUM was commissioned to perform the capacity tests with the support of a microsimulation of different scenarios for the reconstruction of the Gleisdorf one-way ring road.

The reconstruction will be carried out in several sections: the first section “Grazer-Straße – Neugasse” has already been implemented in 2022, the solution has proved to be very successful. In June 2023, the reconstruction of the second section on Schiller Street will begin. Furthermore, Ludwig-Binder-Strasse and the Florianiplatz/ Franz-Bloder-Gasse area are to follow as the third and fourth construction phases. Prior to the implementation of the respective construction section, the performance before and after the respective construction project is examined with the help of a traffic flow simulation, which accurately depicts the road network including all intersections in and around the one-way ring. Based on the simulations, neuralgic points can be identified in advance and attractive solutions for an unhindered traffic flow can be developed. After the implementation of the respective construction stage, the quality of the forecasts is evaluated by using cameras on site over a longer period of time by comparing the results of the video evaluations with the simulation results.


(PLANUM with data from Basemap 2023)



Queries:

DI Konstantin Mizera

Dr. Kurt Fallast

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These two areas of work form essential focal points of PLANUM’s expertise. The department is under the expertise of Franziska SPRACHMANN and Karoline SCHÖN.

The tasks cover a wide range of work from the processing of submission projects for residential, commercial and industrial buildings to environmental impact assessments and interdisciplinary issues in international research projects. The simulation of the noise situation for a planned development and use or for a road or railroad line are the typical fields of application of the simulation software IMMI in the respective current version. The model is calibrated using representative measurements. The predicted sound immissions can be used to optimize the arrangement of building structures or to dimension building components according to sound engineering requirements.


Figure 1: Noise study as the basis for a development plan




In the EU co-funded project CEFRABID we are investigating with partners from Poland, Spain and Cyprus the shielding and reflection effects of the combination of sound insulation and photovoltaic elements, as well as the optimization of sound insulation and energy generation.


Figure 2 CEFRABID project





Figure 3: Use of the acoustic camera for building analysis

 

For complex acoustic situations and for the renovation of residential and commercial buildings, or for the optimization of shielding measures, our Acoustic Camera is used. For example, locations with low insulating properties or highly reflective surfaces can be analyzed. For vehicles and machines, the main noise sources are identified and problem-oriented noise control measures are developed on this basis.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:
Dipl.Ing. Dr. Kurt Fallast
Franziska Sprachmann
Karoline Schön, MSc.

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Multimodal and environmentally friendly.

In the spirit of multimobility, the 2021 company outing led to Carinthia, PLANUM’s second location in the center of Klagenfurt. By bus, train, on foot, boat and e-scooter, our employees were on the road for a day.

We arrived in the provincial capital from Graz by ÖBB bus via Wolfsberg after 2 hours (from December 2025, with the opening of the Koralm railroad connection, it will only take 45 minutes! This will bring the PLANUM locations even closer together). After a short ride on the train, we walked to the boat landing on Lake Wörthersee. Leisurely at breakfast we were on the way to Pörtschach. There an exciting lecture from SURAAA project manager Walter Prutej about autonomous driving was waiting for us. Pörtschach currently has the only autonomous scheduled bus in Austria. The tingles through the center of Pörtschach to the train station and back.
The planned test drive in the 8-seater was postponed because the bus sensors are still a bit sensitive to rain showers. This technology is still in the development phase, but it will clearly have a lasting impact on our mobility future. Contrary to the forecasts, we headed for the southern shore of Lake Wörthersee in sunshine on the deck of the ship, complete with beer. From Reifnitz we went by bus to the Pyramidenkogel– with the highest wooden tower (100m) in the world. After 441 steps we reached the highest viewing platform at 67 m and were rewarded with a breathtaking view in all directions.

Besides the beauty of Carinthia with its mountains and lakes, as well as the view to the borders of the neighboring countries Italy and Slovenia, it became apparent that foresight is necessary to recognize new perspectives and possibilities for the future. This view also shapes the work of PLANUM and its employees in the fields of mobility, spatial planning and environment. Using the tower’s slide, we all arrived safely at the bottom in seconds. We always take the direct route where possible. Afterwards we ended the day comfortably at the new office location (since August 1, 2021) at Domplatz.




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