Creutzig, F., Javaid, A., Soomauroo, Z., Lohrey, S., Milojevic-Dupont, N., Ramakrishnan, A., Sethi, M., Liu, L., Niamir, L., Bren d’Amour, C., Weddige, U., Lenzi, D., Kowarsch, M., Arndt, L., Baumann, L., Betzien, J.

Fair street space allocation: ethical principles and empirical insights

in Environmental Research Letters, 18.05.2020

Peer Review , Scientific Assessments, Ethics, and Public Policy , Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport

Urban street space is increasingly contested. However, it is unclear what a fair street space allocation would look like. We develop a framework of ten ethical principles and three normative perspectives on street space – streets for transport, streets for sustainability, and streets as place – and discuss 14 derived street space allocation mechanisms. We contrast these ethically grounded allocation mechanisms with real-world allocation in 18 streets in Berlin. We find that car users, on average, had 3.5 times more space available than non-car users. While some allocation mechanisms are more plausible than others, none is without disputed normative implications. All of the ethical principles, however, suggest that on-street parking for cars is difficult to justify, and that cycling deserves more space. We argue that ethical principles should be systematically integrated into urban and transport planning.