Multi-strategy intervention for promoting bicycle mobility, health, and sustainability in the context of existing city development in Düsseldorf (UNITY)

Study objective:

The improvement of green public transport and the further development and expansion of a bicycle route network are important elements of a sustainable, climate-friendly and health-promoting urban environment. In Düsseldorf, a variety of integrated urban development concepts to promote cycling will be implemented in the coming years as part of mobility plan D. A consortium of researchers from the Heinrich-Heine University and the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with a steering committee of the city of Düsseldorf will evaluate existing approaches of sustainable cycling mobility, physical activity and healthy environmental conditions. Finally a concept and an evaluation for a multistrategic intervention, which will be refined and expanded, will be implemented.

Specific objectives

  • The specific objectives listed below refer to the second project phase, which has not yet been approved.
  • To develop a multi-strategic intervention to promote physical activity and healthy living in different social districts using existing plans to create a new bicycle infrastructure in Düsseldorf.
  • To evaluate the acceptance and use of the multistrategic intervention and its effects on physical activity and health in different social districts.
  • To measure ambient air pollution on residential streets in high and low traffic areas and on different cycling routes.
  • To conduct a semi-controlled crossover study investigating different health effects of air pollution by cycling in high and low traffic areas in the city of Düsseldorf.

Study design:

  • Part 1: Pragmatic trial with pre/post design (estimated n=700)
  • Part 2: Randomized semi-controlled crossover study (estimated n=60)

Study population:

Adult citizens of Düsseldorf

Study area:

City of Düsseldorf

Study period:


Current status:

Development of the main application; conceptual development phase;


  • Prof. Dr. Konradin Weber, Fachbereich für Maschinenbau und Verfahrenstechnik Hochschule Düsseldorf
  • Tobias Pohl, Fachbereich für Maschinenbau und Verfahrenstechnik Hochschule Düsseldorf
  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Kuß, Institut für Biometrie und Epidemiologie, Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum

Project Team Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf

  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Pischke
  • Dr. Simone Weyers
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Hoffmann
  • Dr. Vanessa Soppa

Cooperation Partners

  • Jochen Kral, Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, Amt für Verkehrsmanagement
  • Rolf Neumann, Connected mobility GmbH
  • Dr. Audrey de Nazelle, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
  • Prof. Dr. Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, SGlobal Barcelona Institute für Global Health

External Funding

Bundeministerium für Bildung und Forschung

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