To content
Department of Spatial Planning

Primary school children on the move

Primary school children on the move – The relevance of the built and transport environment for child mobility

Project aims

The mobility of children is of increasing importance in international urban and transport research, particularly with respect to travel mode choice and children's independent travel. However, Germany faces a striking lack of research in the field. The focus of the project is on elementary school children's mobility in Dortmund.

Empirical analyses serve to provide answers to the following research questions:

(1) Which elements of the built and transport-related environment and which social effects promote or impede the independent and/or non-motorised mobility of school children?

(2) Which associations can be established between school trips and other aspects of child travel (e.g. trips to places of play and leisure)?

(3) Which effects do transport planning concepts have on child travel?

The results will be discussed with practitioners in civil society and policy. The results of these discussions will enter the project in the form of an actor analysis.


In a standardised questionnaire survey among twelve primary schools in Dortmund (n=1.202), the parents were asked about their children's mobility in October 2020 (prior to the second lockdown). A large-scale, detailed inventory of the children's spatial and transport environment will be carried out in the project. The data will be merged with the questionnaire data.


David Hölzel,

Telephone ++49 (0)231 755 2298


Funding: Karl-Vossloh-Stiftung

Project start and end: August 2022 – July 2025



Hölzel, David (2022): Aktionsräume als Gegenstand interdisziplinärer und internationaler Forschung. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung 80(2), 168-185.

Scheiner, Joachim (2019): Mobilität von Kindern. Stand der Forschung und planerische Konzepte. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung 77(5), 441-456.