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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
14 June 2019

Dresden, planning for multimodality and measuring the results

  • Intermodality
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Germany
Resource type
  • Case study
Case study image: street in Dresden

First published on 14 June 2019. 

Dresden (Germany) was named one of the three finalists in the 7th European SUMP Award that was presented by European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on 21 March 2019. This is the second time that Dresden has been a finalist in the awards. Dresden’s approach to monitoring and evaluation was commended four years ago and the city has once again impressed the jury, this time with forward-looking planning which addresses multimodality in transport planning.

The city of Dresden adopted its first SUMP “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan 2025plus” in 2014, which is currently in the evaluation phase. First results show that Dresden achieved most objectives, even exceeding some.


Dresden is a city located in former Eastern Germany and counts more than 500,000 inhabitants. The city has been developing and implementing transport plans for the last 70 years under different political systems.

Dresden’s transport challenges arise from the recent growth of the population and densification of the urban area, economic developments and an increase in energy prices - all of which impact urban mobility. Air quality and NOx emissions, traffic noise and road fatalities and injuries are pressing challenges. The emergence of new mobility services requires the authority to address new issues such as digitisation and automation of transport, data collection and management as well as coordinating with new players in the mobility market. Dresden’s SUMP responds to the aforementioned issues in a resource-efficient way.

The general objective of the SUMP is to develop a “sustainable urban and regional transport system, a more attractive and liveable, efficient city with higher road safety” which can be described in four priorities:

  1. Sustainable and eco-friendly transport and mobility for residents and the economy
  2. Socially just participation in mobility
  3. High quality and efficient integrated transport systems to reduce the use of natural resources for transport purposes
  4. Open and inclusive planning and decision-making process, involving the population and different experts and groups.
In action 

Facilitating multimodal transport, called “multimobility” by the city in its communication with residents, is a key component of Dresden’s SUMP. The flagship communication campaign led by the city administration is called “Multimobil. For you. For Dresden.” The city addressed the various transport modes, and the connection between those, in a number of interventions:

  • To foster active mobility, Dresden adopted a bicycle concept and is working on the publication of a dedicated walking concept. These separate documents complement the SUMP and pave the way for the development of a prioritised route network, better signage and facilities as well as safety improvements to infrastructure.
  • To enhance public transport, Dresden made plans to increase accessibility and create three new tram lines.
  • New mobility services are addressed consciously: in order to avoid encouraging car-sharing to replace trips that were previously made using public transport, by bike or by foot, Dresden opted against free-floating car sharing schemes. To enhance mobility options but not to increase inner-city car trips, only station-based car sharing has been introduced.
  • Dresden elaborated on alternatives to trucks and vans and keep its cargo-tram running along with the promotion of cargo-bikes.

To facilitate the combination of different transport modes within one trip, Dresden is now introducing a network of 76 intermodal mobility hubs. The first “MOBI” mobility hub opened at the occasion of the 2018 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. “MOBIs” are central places where public transport offers meet bike-sharing, car-sharing and e-charging.

Transport information will be provided in real-time and for all transport services. Ultimately, such an improved offer shall make alternatives to the privately-owned car a reality for more people, contribute to a decrease of emissions and better use of urban space.


First evaluation results were reported in July 2018, looking both at the process and the results of implemented interventions by 2017. Out of 90 foreseen measures, half are currently being implemented, one quarter has been completed, 10% have not yet begun and four measures have been dropped.

Results show that the growth in the population is no longer accompanied by linear increase of cars in the city. The cumulated modal share of public transport, walking and cycling accounted to 61% and is expected to reach 63% by the next evaluation in 2020, exceeding the SUMP’s original target of 58%. The number of car sharing users increased by 80% between 2013 and 2017 while the number of shared cars grew by 62%.

Challenges, opportunities and transferability 

As Dresden already managed to reach many of its targets, one of the next challenge of the city will be to continue planning for mobility in order to reach even more ambitious targets. To achieve this goal, the city of Dresden wants to seize the opportunity given by the digitalisation of transport. For instance, the local authority plans to develop a Multimodal App which will integrates information, booking and ticketing solutions for public transport, car-sharing, bike-sharing, electric charging and parking.

The city of Dresden is also a great example for other European cities, as attested by its selection among the three finalists of the 7th EU SUMP Award. In addition to its recognised capacity for planning for multimodality, Dresden stands as an example for developing a SUMP and especially for conducting the evaluation process.

In Depth 

Dresden’s finalist video:

SUMP Plan: version)

Picture: Frank Fiedler