The mobility potential of cities – and real estate
How well can you reach destinations in your area? Good accessibility is a unique form of luxury: being able to arrive at a destination as quickly and safely as possible, without any extraordinary circumstances. A precious commodity in a time-poor world!
Small-scale accessibility calculations are particularly relevant when it comes to the attractiveness of urban areas. An accessibility index shows immediately how quickly you can reach everyday destinations from a given location. For analysis, we have used the latest PTV Model2Go technology to process accessibility and mobility data for the largest cities in Germany and departments in France. The results are available on our data platform PTV Access. However, this data serves not only to evaluate accessibility from a transport and urban planning perspective but also offers important information for real estate inquiries and property valuation.
Background on travel times and mobility data
Our transport planning software has been used for many years by cities and planning agencies around the world for a variety of transport planning tasks. These range from optimizing traffic light schedules, to predicting the effects of a widespread introduction of a 30 km/h speed limit in city centers, to evaluating and comparing planning alternatives, such as the expansion of rail transport. On behalf of Deutsche Bahn AG, we prepared demand forecasts for the long-term expansion of the European high-speed rail network. One of the analyses dealt with travel times between European metropolises in 2019 and 2050. The improvements resulting from the expanded high-speed network were clearly visible for Berlin and Prague, for example. The figures are based on isochrones calculated from the existing timetables for 2019 and the planned timetables for 2050.
Automatically generated data packages
We have now automated the process of generating f the necessary databases to enable such calculations. This allows us to automatically feed our software with mobility data for any city worldwide and to perform small-scale accessibility calculations. For example, it is possible to retrieve isochrones with self-defined travel time classes for any given address. This applies to all relevant modes of transport, including walking, cycling, public transport or the car. In the future, this function will be available as an API via our new data platform PTV Access.
Real estate search use case
This functionality allows visitors to a real estate platform to refine their search criteria by filtering real estate listings that are in the vicinity of a specific address, such as a workplace or a school. It is also possible to search for properties situated in the catchment area of two or more addresses. Finally, users can find property locations that offer a comfortable commute for all family members to everyday destinations, whether on foot, by bicycle, by public transportation, or by car.
Accessibility index for optimal filtering
Another API allows d to retrieve an accessibility index or score for the location of each property offered, differentiated by mode of transportation. In the future, e-bikes will be added as a mode of transportation. The accessibility score ranges from zero to 100 indicating how easily accessible the facilities are that each of us frequently visit in our daily lives: kindergartens, schools, restaurants, supermarkets, discount stores, doctors’ offices (in planning), pharmacies, hospitals, and much more.
An exemplary implementation shows how the accessibility index can be used to filter real estate listings. This allows users to see only those properties aligning with their preferred destinations and means of transportation. The API heralds a new era for real estate platform operators, allowing users to better filter and find properties that perfectly match their daily mobility needs. At the same time, a good accessibility index as an indicator for a central location, positively influences a property’s value. Consequently, the location of a property is crucial – and immutable.