Kassel

A liveable city in the heart of Germany and Europe

Kassel is located in the north of the federal state Hessen right in the center of Germany. It has 198.000 inhabitants and is the economic, cultural and regional center of the area with about 900000 inhabitants. The international art exhibition “documenta” takes place in a five-year cycle and the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe has been declared UNESCO World Heritage site. Due to the exclusive position in the middle of Germany and its excellent connection to the ICE train-network, Kassel is a popular conference host and an important transportation hub. In the east of Kassel, the major German-north-south highway is placed. In the south there is the main highway to the Ruhr area in the west of Germany. Public transport includes rail and bus. Kassel is famous for its combined tram and train track. This RegioTram system acts as a tram in the urban area and can travel in the region on the railway line. Kassel has labeled cycle routes and there is free bicycle transportation in public trams and busses. Also there is a bike sharing system, which stations are distributed over the entire city. Two carsharing companies provide more than 80 vehicles. Beside the allocation of 10 electric charging stations, the transportation company drives an electric bus on bus lines through the city center.

 

A vision of prospective transportation planning

The VEP 2030 (abbreviation for Verkehrsentwicklungsplan) is a local plan of prospective transportation planning for the city of Kassel and is equivalent to a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). The city of Kassel developed its SUMP in cooperation with the region of Kassel, since there are interrelations and movements of people, goods and information. The VEP 2030 has been developed to shape, move and live the Ideas of integrated and prospective planning of transportation within the city and the region. The highest political body, the city government called Stadtverordnetenversammlung, endorsed the VEP 2030. Therefore is guaranteed that all political parties support the strategic focus of the SUMP and the general goals for the future planning of transportation in Kassel. The process has been accompanied by a variety of different instruments of public and citizen participation in order to make sure that stakeholders are involved early on and continuously. The VEP 2030 is the 3rd version of a SUMP for the city of Kassel, after a general traffic plan in 1990 and a regional SUMP in 2003.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

The enactment of the VEP 2030 in 2015 has been an important step to change the perception of mobility within the city. It still is a central goal to integrate the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan as a continuous task across the different departments of the city administration and politics. The city has to start ‘living the plan’ in order to give the ideas a chance to spread out  and to change the urban image and ways of mobility.

 

Challenges in planning

The city of Kassel is characterized by an intense and continuous discussion of its transportation policy. Since the center of Kassel has been almost completely destroyed in World War II, a car-friendly city structure was built and it has determined the entire urban appearance. There are many strong economic parameters, like large car producers that influence the mobility of the city’s inhabitants.

Nevertheless Kassel is also very progressive in implementing new transportation concepts within the city: The redesign of “Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse” has been honored and distinguished with the award of German transportation planning in 2016. In 1953 had Kassel also the first planned and constructed pedestrian area in Germany - the Treppenstraße.

 

A city worth living - for everybody

Kassel offers many good reasons to live in or visit the city. It has one of the highest quote of cultural offers within Germany. Also Kassel is surrounded by old woodlands, where many tales of the brothers Grimm have their origin. The university of Kassel with approx. 25.ooo students is located in Kassel. The SUMP Process offers an opportunity to transform the routines of transportation into sustainable and multimodal forms of traffic. The effective promotion of environment- and resource-friendly patterns of mobility offers a long term chance to make the city more livable for todays and future inhabitants, visitors and tourists. Let the SUMP Process help, to create and enhance a livable city for everybody.

 

Go to the Kassel website (incl. the link to their VEP , German version of the SUMP - German only)