Copenhagen traffic model

A cutting-edge tool for planning mobility

The municipality of Copenhagen has set up a cutting-edge tool to accurately model the traffic associated with different types of mobility, taking into account interactions between modes (car, cycle, pedestrian, public transport). The aim is to give planners new ways of understanding traffic and anticipating its development. Artelia led the team of consultants who designed this model, called COMPASS.


Aiming for carbon neutrality, the city of Copenhagen is giving major importance to the issue of transport. A number of projects designed to reduce CO2 emissions have been initiated or are underway (extension of the metro, conversion of buses to electric power, car-free zones, improvements to the vast infrastructure already devoted to cycles, etc.). The creation of a new traffic modelling tool, adapted to today’s challenges, is one of these projects to promote low-carbon mobility.

Unlike the old model, which was based on journeys, the new COMPASS (Copenhagen Model for Passenger Activity Scheduling) focuses on activities, i.e. user behaviour. The model seeks to describe people’s daily activities on the basis of household composition: the father takes the child to the crèche on the way to work and does the shopping on the way home, while the mother picks up the child. This method sheds light on combined journeys, such as cycling on the train, parking behaviour and congestion on cycle paths and public transport. Another innovative aspect of the model is its ability to analyse new transport technologies, such as driverless cars, car sharing and driverless minibuses.

By using this tool to calculate traffic trends according to some thirty different development scenarios, including the development of light rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) lines with dedicated lanes, Artelia has assisted the municipality of Copenhagen in analysing how public transport infrastructure can be developed to meet urban development and climate challenges in 2050.