Koelnmesse - Inner-city traffic guidance system

✔ Integrated guidance system for logistics and visitor traffic

✔ Cooperative control together with urban guidance system

✔ Interface to logistics control, parking space, and truck navigation system


Different interest groups and their specific requirements must be taken into consideration when it comes to traffic planning in highly dense inner-city areas. We provide support in the field of transportation system optimization in order to ensure a high level of compatibility between the various transportation modes while maintaining a high level of performance.

Designing an efficient traffic guidance system

Project description

As part of the funding program "Digitalization of municipal transportation systems", the trade fair’s existing traffic guidance system, which dates back to 2005, was fundamentally renewed and adapted to the increased complexity in handling extremely high (heavy) traffic volumes in the inner-city area.

The contract included planning services for dynamic and static signposts as well as for the central computer including control software. All planning services were carried out according to the work phases 1 - 8 HOAI [German fee structure for architects and engineers]. Special attention was paid to the choice of locations in order to establish a coherent overall system in combination with existing static signposts and vario panels.

Multi-stage planning process

The project was based on a multi-stage planning process. In a first step, the current situation of Cologne’s main road network was documented and all signposts at the trade fair were mapped and processed in a spatial information system. Together with the City of Cologne, a grid of signposts was then defined and visualized, via which trade fair traffic would be guided in future. Based on this, the existing static signage was checked for completeness. The dynamic signage in the vicinity of the trade fair was planned in such a way that there are sufficient display options for all Koelnmesse destinations (parking lots, gates, entrances) at all crossroads. The use of full-matrix LED panels offers the required flexibility. Thus, even the number of dynamic display locations could be reduced from 31 to 21 compared to the existing guidance system.


The guidance system is controlled via a redundant central computer using browser-based control software based on maps. The software can be conveniently accessed from any computer within the Koelnmesse network.

The fully dynamic system generates the required display content based on the defined grid and prepared image content. Test routines to ensure consistent signage are also included. In agreement with the City of Cologne, trade fair logos in full color may also be used on the Koelnmesse LED panels for routing purposes, as these have a higher recognition value among trade fair visitors than the destination "Koelnmesse".

Interfaces to the City of Cologne and to the truck navigation and logistics systems ensure that road users receive consistent route guidance across all systems.

Key facts & figures

Modernization of the trade fair traffic guidance system in numbers:

• 21 dynamic signpost locations in the area surrounding the trade fair

• 10 static signposts in the area surrounding the trade fair

• 4 static signposts in the municipal area

• 2 static signposts on the highways

• 30 RGB LED vario panels

• 6 new cantilevers/double jibs

• 7 new tubular masts

• 2 new large signboards with LED inserts

• 45 new small signposts

Any questions?

Our experts will be glad to assist you.