Benjamin Büttner's Lab

About the lab

Accessibility Planning

Our aim is to support integrated land-use and transport planning by means of accessibility - a concept, which has been proven to enhance quality of life and sustainability in our cities. Accessibility instruments empower interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral discussions among various stakeholders, decision-makers and citizens.

Our applied research lays the focus on:
- Accessibility Instruments for Planning Practice
- CO2 Accessibility Assessments
- Monetary Accessibility Assessments
- Intermodal Accessibility
- Accessibility and Equity
- Webbased Open Accessibility Tools
- Local (Active) Accessibility

Featured projects (1)

Identify the main barriers and opportunities in the urban environment to promote proximity accessibility through active mobility for older people and how this can help to achieve active and healthy ageing with better quality of life for all.

Featured research (25)

In response to acute urban mobility and livability challenges, city street experiments have emerged as a way to explore possible solutions for alternative futures. While the added value of these experiments to improve urban living conditions is widely acknowledged, their potential to stimulate larger system change remains unknown. This paper uses the defining characteristics of transition experiments and a multi-level perspective of transitions in order to assess the transitional capacity of city street experiments. We devise an assessment framework to systematically assess six case studies in Amsterdam and Munich, revealing emerging patterns of experimentation within urban mobility systems.
Planning practitioners need suitable tools to find neighbourhoods that need walkable access to basic needs. Hence, co-designing and co-creating the ideal ±15-Minute City with its inhabitants is crucial. The “Flowers of Proximity” has proven to be an easy and fun way of starting this discussion. They allowed the comparison of different perspectives on the ±15-Minute City by planning practitioners from diverse backgrounds and cities. This exercise can, in the future, also be used as a starting point to co-design visions of the ±15-Minute City together with all stakeholders. However, this vision should not be set in stone but must be tested based on analyses of the proximity to essential services and other important factors such as walk- and cyclability. A ±15-Minute City analysis of five European cities (Amsterdam, Ghent, Madrid, Milan, and Munich) has revealed that they can be considered 10- or even 5-Minute Cities because of the high proximity to essential services. However, we also found that especially on the fringes of the analysed cities there are still areas which do not experience the same levels of proximity as the urban centres. This, again, highlights the need for context-dependent interventions to achieve the goal of ±15-Minute Cities. While there are questions of densification and improving proximity to destinations in the suburbs, there should be a higher emphasis on promoting liveable urban spaces as well as walkable and cyclable streets to reduce the use of cars in areas with already high accessibility. During the pandemic the value of urban space became evident, and we questioned the use of the space in our cities, seeing it as a limited resource. Since then, our streets have experimented with a temporary redesign to take the best advantage of the space available. Street experiments can help as a tool to achieve the vision that cities have around the ±15-Minute City even with a low budget, to help to pave the way to the ±15-Minute City. To select sites for the implementation of street experiments and other measures, it is important to put more emphasis on areas that face specific challenges, such as social deprivation, to reduce inequalities across cities and regions. Even though European cities are at the forefront of implementing ±15-Minute Cities, there is still a lot of work ahead. The planning principles and roadmap presented in this study can support cities and planning practitioners so that they can take a step forward to meet the goal of designing human-centred, more accessible, just, and liveable neighbourhoods and cities for ALL.
Walking connects different modes of transport and acts as the main feeder for public transport. Nonetheless, ensuring high-quality accessibility for pedestrians to railway stations is seldom evaluated beyond measurable factors such as walking distance and time. Although several studies found differences in calculated and perceived accessibility, little research has so far focused on the factors that are influencing perceived pedestrian accessibility and thus causing these differences. In order to contribute to the current efforts of conceptualizing perceived accessibility, this study explores the factors which determine whether or not people walk to train stations. Potential influencing factors were first derived from a literature review and clustered into six quality criteria (directness, simplicity, traffic safety, security, comfort and built environment). Then, on-site and online surveys were conducted in five Bavarian towns (Germany) to understand the importance of the identified factors and how this differs between different people and places. The results confirm that above all comfort, safety and security factors play an important role for pedestrian accessibility. In addition, significant differences were found between different age groups and city sizes.
The workplace location impacts both daily mobility behavior and long-term mobility decisions. Many case studies have observed significant effects of workplace relocation on car availability and mode choice to work, but there is a lack of studies that go beyond a single-company relocation to explore the association between workplace relocation and a subsequent change in car availability and car commuting, with a focus on the importance of the workplace location as an explanatory variable for these changes. In this study, we examine the associations of workplace relocation with the increase in car availability and switch to car commuting in 6404 surveyed workers in the Metropolitan Region of Munich. A subset of the data with workers who have changed their workplace location while maintaining the same residential location (n = 787) is used to visualize the effect of the workplace relocation. By using “flow-diagrams” for a descriptive analysis of the data, a logistic regression on the increase in car availability as well as a Heckman Selection Model on the modal switch to driving, we find statistically significant associations of the workplace relocation with the increase in car availability and the change to driving. Workplace relocations to less centralized areas are associated with an increase in car availability and a change to driving. Vice versa, a relocation to a more centralized areas is negatively associated. Our results emphasize the importance of workplace locations and especially re-locations as triggers for changes in car availability and mode choice. We advocate for wisely designed planning processes and decision-making tools for analyzing and planning workplace locations, in order to make use of the window of opportunity for behavior change towards sustainable commuting and to foster well-working regional systems for living, working, and everything in between.
The rise of concepts such as the 15-minute-city represents the growing importance of accessibility by active mobility. In order to promote accessibility, accessibility instruments are developed that have substantial potential to assist practitioners in decision making processes. Therefore, this research starts with an up-to-date overview on the suitability of accessibility instruments when planning for active mobility. It was found that accessibility instruments were significantly further developed in the last few years and there is a rising number of tools that contain novel features. However, it was identified that there is a clear lack of tools specifically designed for modeling active mobility that are open source, include interactive scenario building, and can easily be transferred to new study areas. Therefore, an interactive accessibility instrument named GOAT (Geo Open Accessibility Tool) was developed, which is open source, transferable, and has an easy-to-use web interface. This instrument has been developed following an iterative software development process in close cooperation with practitioners from three municipalities in the region of Munich, Germany. The practitioners tested the tool independently in numerous workshops in order to provide feedback, which was integrated into the development. Furthermore, the tool was tested and transferred to more than 20 German municipalities, the City of Bogotá (Colombia) and Matosinhos (Portugal). First results show that the collaborative and open development process produced a user-centric solution, which bears the high potential to make planning for active mobility more effective and efficient.

Lab head

Benjamin Büttner
  • Chair for Urban Structure and Transport Planning

Members (9)

Julia Kinigadner
  • Technische Universität München
David Duran
  • Technische Universität München
Elias Pajares
  • Plan4Better GmbH
Ulrike Jehle
  • Technische Universität München
Maximilian Pfertner
  • Technische Universität München
Sindi Haxhija
  • Technische Universität München
Aaron Nichols
  • Technische Universität München
Ana Graciela Rivas De Gante
Ana Graciela Rivas De Gante
  • Not confirmed yet

Alumni (1)

Chenyi Ji
Chenyi Ji