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Fair street space allocation: ethical principles and empirical insights (Soomauroo et al. 2020)

Felix Creutzig, Aneeque Javaid, Steffen Lohrey, Nikola Milojevic-Dupont, Anjali Ramakrishnan, Mahendra Sethi, Zakia Soomauroo et al.

Abstract — 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.

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Published in: Transport Reviews Volume 40, 2020 - Issue 6 (May 18, 2020): 1–23.
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