Topic area 2: Environment and transport
Designing transport and transport infrastructure environmentally sound
A sustainable transport policy has to meet the growing mobility needs as well as the increasing environmental requirements. In this context, a special challenge is to develop cross-modal approaches for evaluating and reducing environmental impacts. For this, the topic area ‘Environment and transport’ of the BMDV Network of Experts makes a significant contribution. The careful handling of habitats and the minimization of chemical and physical emissions preserve and improve the natural foundations of human life. Therefore, environmental aspects are an integral part of the conception and prioritization of decisions concerning transport and transport infrastructure.
The authorities involved in the topic area ‘Environment and transport’, i.e. BAG, BASt, BAW, BSH, DWD and DZFS/EBA, network their expertise within the framework of five main topics.
Transport and its infrastructure connect and separate habitats. Correspondingly, they promote or hinder the spread of organisms. Thus, the topic area addresses two central aspects of biological diversity in its interaction with mobility: on the one hand the preservation or regeneration and networking of habitats to promote biodiversity and structural diversity (ecological networking), on the other hand the dealing with the introduction and spreading of non-indigenous species (neobiota), to which all transport modes contribute.
Source: Maßmig, BfG
The research on intelligent networking and cross-modal management of areas adjacent to transport routes as well as on the minimization of the entry and spread of non-indigenous and potentially invasive species supports the National Strategy on Biodiversity.
Furthermore, the topic area ‘Environment and transport’ addresses the role of transport and transport infrastructure as a source of chemical (e.g. pollutants) and physical (e.g. noise) environmental impacts. Both affect human health and ecosystem services.
The qualitative adverse effects on the natural habitat of human beings, animals and plants strongly depend on the exposure to immissions. Therefore, the scientists of this topic area identify and characterize traffic-related impacts (traffic-related emissions/immissions and noise) and infrastructure-related inputs into the environment (construction-related emissions).
Moreover, the researchers consider the short-, medium- and long-term impacts of transport and infrastructure on the natural material cycles. In order to protect ecosystems, solutions are being developed that have the least possible impact on natural material cycles and on anthropogenic climate changes. This concerns, for instance, the atmosphere, the water network, the soil/groundwater system or urban areas.
In the context of the five main topics of the topic area ‘Environment and transport’, research is planned to expand the results so far (further data collection, development of models and information systems etc.), to validate the proposed measures and to transfer them into practice, e.g. by conducting pilot projects. Besides, there is room for new projects and for the implementation of innovative methods, which reveals that the BMDV Network of Experts is up to date with scientific research.
The BMDV Network of Experts provides different data and tools, which contribute to an environmentally sound organization of the transport and the transport infrastructure:
- In order to support the operators of the various traffic modes in their decision-making, the researchers have developed information systems which provide, for instance, data on neobiota or construction materials and their environmental impacts.
- Measurement results on emissions and immissions as well as results of modelling studies on traffic-related immissions were generated and published.
- The useful life of coatings applied to steel structures can be significantly extended by specific measures. These outcomes have already been incorporated into the corresponding technical standards.
- The reseachers elaborated a guidance on noise reducing procedures in accumulation situations (“Verfahren zur Lärmminderung bei Kumulation”). This guidance provides support for the realization of noise protection projects, especially if more than one noise source exists.
- Maintenance measures which are planned in a cross-modal way can contribute to promote the biological diversity, protected species and the networking of habitats.