The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: VerKoS – Transport consequences and costs of settlement development (Calculation of transport and settlement costs)

Project briefing

As public budgets are tight, it becomes more and more important to estimate the financial consequences of new housing areas. To help communal planners to estimate these costs, a tool was developed.

Project duration: November 2013 - November 2015


In 2002 the Federal Government determined the Sustainable Development Strategy.

One goal is to reduce the amount of natural and agricultural land which is converted to building areas and to traffic areas. In 2000 around 130 hectares per day were converted.

Although this number has declined, the conversion rate for transportation use has not improved. Therefore it was indicated that more transparency about the future costs of infrastructure might support sustainability.

The same is true for municipal budgets: Often municipal councillors hope to gain financial advantages for their community through the development of new housing areas.

However, this may not necessarily be true: New housing areas may attract new inhabitants and can raise taxes. New costs are also to be considered. But that is not an easy task.

A lot of different costs have to be considered: For example streets have to be built anew at first, then you have to clean them and people need lighting during the night. In the end you have to repair and finally rebuild them. And the same is true for public transportation. All of these costs have to be dealt with in different ways.

VerKoS (Verkehrskostenschätzer = Traffic Cost Estimator) does exactly that: It helps to identify all the transport-related costs that a new housing area induces. It considers the density and use of buildings, the location in an inner city area or in the suburbs and existing and future public transportation.

As a result it gives all the costs, their reasons and information when to expect them. Additionally, VerKoS can estimate transport-related carbon dioxide-production.
With this data, municipal councillors and the municipal public have a better information base with which they may decide.


VerKoS's aim is to help smaller and middle-sized municipalities. It is designed to be used without special software knowledge and without large data mining. It comes with standard costs for each infrastructure. And it can be adjusted with additional local data and standards.

The Contractors of this research and development project were:

  • PTV Transport Consult GmbH, Karlsruhe
  • PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG, Berlin/Karlsruhe
  • Dipl-Ing. Architekt Nils Krieger, Regierungsbaumeister SRL, Freudenstadt


  • Dr. Bernd Buthe
    Division RS 5 "Digital Cities, Risk Prevention and Transportation"
    Phone: +49 228 99401-2332

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