Transport and the Environment

Copyright: DLR/Tegen

Transport is an important foundation for business and society, and enables economic development and individual freedom. People in Germany cover 3.2 billion kilometers on an average weekday – more than ten times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. In a city such as Berlin, around 4.5 million people use public transport daily. At the same time, 14 million tons of freight are carried in Germany day by day by road, rail, ship or air, and 2.4 million parcels delivered to private homes. The traffic volumes are continuously rising.

A boom with a downside: in spite of a small drop in road traffic greenhouse gas emissions, transport’s relative share of emissions is growing. The transport sector in Germany is today responsible for some 20% of greenhouse gases. The release of greenhouse gases is accompanied by other air pollutants, noise and other negative societal effects.

The Project Partners

Ten institutes of the DLR Transport Program are working together on the VEU project. In addition, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) are also participating. The second, four-year project phase was started on 1 January 2014. The project is financed through federal and state-level institutional resources. The DLR Institute of Transport Research in Berlin is responsible for the project management and coordination.

Pooling of Knowledge via a Unique Network of Expertise

The project links the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft’s competence with that of the DLR Transport Program, producing considerable and long-standing expertise in modeling and the appraisal of future developments in transport, technology, the climate, and the environment. Combining empirical research with the existing DLR, KIT and HZG models affords a unique model system that permits scenario modeling along previously unachieved concatenation.

The project partners are distinguished in the multidisciplinary nature of their research, particularly in linking views of transport from social science and engineering perspectives. Furthermore, the cooperation allows the research of other programs, particularly on energy and aviation, to flow into the project.

The project’s integrated, multidisciplinary and cooperative approach is unique in contemporary research in drawing together knowledge to answer urgent questions about tomorrow’s mobility.

Scientific Advisory Committee

The VEU Project is accompanied and supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee. The members of this committee are (status of April 2015):

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Builtjes, Institute for Meteorology, FU Berlin, DE; TNO Delft, NL.
  • Prof. Dr. Regine Gerike, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, AU..
  • Prof. Barbara Griefahn, Leibniz-Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, University of Dortmund, DE.
  • Prof. Dr. Jos Lelieveld, Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, DE
  • Prof. Bernd Meyer, Institute of Economic Structures Research mbH, Osnabrück, DE.
  • Ulrich Möhler, Möhler & Partner, Munich, DE.
  • Prof. Hans-Martin Niemeier, Macroeconomics, University Bremen, DE.
  • Dr. Martin Schaefer, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Bonn, DE.
  • Prof. Dr. Herbert Sonntag, Technical University of Applied Science, Wildau, DE.
  • Dr. Imke Steinmeyer, Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, Berlin, DE.
  • Dr. Barbara Richter, BMW Group, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Munich