Dresden Declaration

The Chair of Transport Ecology at TU Dresden’s “Friedrich List” Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences led an expert conference on September 15, 2021, where the many aspects of a true turnaround in transport policy were discussed. All participants agreed that replacing combustion engines with environmentally friendly alternatives and striving to become as climate-neutral as possible is by no means sufficient. A transformation in transport policy must encompass all modes of transport and all areas of society. It is much more radical than has been discussed so far. To this end, a “Dresden Declaration on Transforming Transport Policy” has been adopted. The main concern is upholding human mobility now and in the future. This is why transport policy, planning and many other aspects need to be reconsidered and realized in a different way than they are today.

To support this declaration, add your name to list of signatories. Your name will then be included in the list of other signatories on our website.

Dresden Declaration on Transforming Transport Policy


  1. The overarching objective of all measures in transport must be to secure mobility – for all people who live here today as well as for those in other countries and in future generations. Mobility means ensuring that people can travel appropriately, safely, and accessibly to the locations necessary to meet their basic needs. They must be able to get to work and school, go shopping, visit the doctor, the pharmacy, their friends and relatives, and have access to recreational destinations, etc. We must ensure access to these destinations.
  2. From a societal perspective, the satisfaction of these basic needs (eating, drinking, housing, working, learning, socializing, recuperating and exercising) is relevant and must be ensured for all regions and all demographic groups. This is the primary goal. The specific mobility needs of specific groups of people are to be classified as “insufficiently met” must be decided by public debate. Engineering and science will provide the necessary data, tools and potential solutions.
  3. Then, these resulting mobility needs  are to be met with minimal transport. This is the secondary goal. Minimal transport means as little costs to individuals and society as possible. This includes minimizing environmental costs, time, financial and natural resources, noise and air pollution, accidents, land use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste, etc. Many of these costs and damages are currently externalised onto other people, other countries and other generations (externalities).
  4. In particular, the current scientific consensus requires a “truly climate-neutral” transport, coupled with a transition to alternative energy sources. De facto, road transport, rail transport, air transport and shipping must be designed to operate free from petroleum, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other fossil fuels, while contributing to sustainable development.
  5. In the past, transportation planning and transport policy often pursued the goal of “ever easier and smoother” – i.e. more attractive – motorized traffic. This is one reason why traffic volumes increased so significantly. However, there was little consideration of which mobility needs people did satisfy at which destinations (and how transportation influenced the location and nature of those destainations). This transition from ever more attractive vehicles and traffic to guaranteeing mobility for peopleis the core goal of this transport turnaround.
  6. Today’s transportation does not fulfill these (and other) conditions and is incompatible with sustainable development in general. For this reason, transportation must and will change. On this transformation path  it is necessary to have systematic push and pull packages, predefined success indicators, and a success-monitoring system.
  7. A fair, efficient, carbon-neutral, safe, clean, people-friendly transportation system requires the fair and full internalisation of all external costs in the pricing of transportation systems. Only continuous steps towards true costs can facilitate goal-oriented innovations, behavioral change, land use changes and framework changes. This will reduce private and societal costs and allocate them in a socially just way. The extensive externalization of numerous costs to other people, other countries and other generations must come to an end.
  8. The current regulations, path dependencies, laws and institutional networks prevent steps in this direction. Strategically and above all, the principles of traffic avoidance, mode shift and finally technical improvements must be employed. These approaches are to be closely integrated with land-use planning, economic policy, social policy, health policy, financial policy, and more. Proximity, density, mixed use of transport modes and resilience are strategic goals. This will result in higher levels of quality of life as well as vibrant cities, towns and villages.
  9. All steps towards this objective must be developed, discussed and realized together with all actors and institutions. Three types of fundamental data are necessary and must be compiled objectively:
    • Where and how can people meet their mobility needs?
    • Where and how have people actually met their mobility needs?
    • How did the people perceive the quality of the location change; where do they see deficits?
  10. In all planning, assessing and deciding  not only the population living today is to be included but also the interests of  ”other people,” ”other spaces” and ”other generations” have to be considered. . All solutions must be transferable to  a global scale, too, and they have to observe the carrying capacity of this planet. All solutions and innovations have to be fully compatible with sustainable development strategies even if all the people on earth would behave in such a way as the people using transport do here and now.


Udo Becker bears full legal responsibility in terms of the German Press Law (V.i.S.d.P), c/o TU Dresden, Transport Ecology, Hettnerstraße 1, 01069 Dresden

You can download the declaration here.


First Signatories

I hereby undersign the Dresden Declaration, dated September 15, 2021:

  1. Baldauf, Rosemarie; Dipl.-Ing., Mobility Researcher, Dresden
  2. Becker, Thilo; Dr.-Ing., City of Offenburg
  3. Becker, Udo; Prof. Dr.-Ing., Chair of Transport Ecology, TU Dresden
  4. Borken-Kleefeld, Jens; Dr., Laxenburg, Austria
  5. Bosserhoff, Dietmar; Dr., Gustavsburg
  6. Bracher, Tilman; Transportation Scientist, Berlin
  7. Clarus, Elke; Dipl.-Ing., Transportation Scientist, Dresden
  8. Dziekan, Katrin; Dr., Berlin
  9. Eckart, Jochen; Prof. Dr., Chair of Transport Ecology, Hochschule Karlsruhe
  10. Francke, Angela; Prof. Dr., Chair of Cycling and Sustainable Mobility, University of Kassel
  11. Gather, Matthias; Prof. Dr., Chair of Transport Policy and Spatial Planning, Fachhochschule Erfurt
  12. Gerike, Regine; Prof. Dr.-Ing., Chair of Integrated Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering, TU Dresden
  13. Gerlach, Julia; Dipl.-Wi.-Ing., Dresden
  14. Glock, Jan Peter; M. Sc., Transport Ecologist, TU Dresden
  15. Hartl, Richard; Dipl.-Wi.-Ing., Mobility Researcher, Dresden
  16. Höfler, Frank; Prof. Dr.-Ing., Department of Mobility Planning at the Institute for City Planning, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
  17. Huber, Stefan; Dipl.-Geogr., Transportation Scientist, Dresden
  18. Krieg, Michael; Dr., "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, TU Dresden
  19. Lißner, Sven; Dipl.-Ing., Mobility Researcher, Dresden
  20. Porojkow, Iwan; Dipl.-Ing., Mobility Researcher, Dresden
  21. Probst, Gerhard; Dipl.-Volkswirt, Managing Director of Probst & Consorten Marketing Consultancy, Dresden
  22. Rau, Andreas; Munich
  23. Richter, Falk; Dr.-Ing., Transportation Scientist, Dresden
  24. Rußig, Roswita; Dipl.-Ing., Dresden
  25. Schlag, Bernhard; Prof. Dr. phil. habil., Chair of Traffic and Transportation Psychology, TU Dresden
  26. Schmidt, Wolfram; Dresden
  27. Schwedes, Oliver; Prof. Dr., Department of Integrated Transport Planning, Institute for Land and Marine Traffic, TU Berlin
  28. Völlings, Andreas; Dresden Institute for Traffic and Environment, Dresden


Other signatories.

All signatures reflect the opinion of the respective individual.

To support this declaration, add your name to list of signatories. Your name will then be included in the list of other signatories on our website.