Investigating people’s preferences for car-free city centers: A discrete choice experiment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - car, mode - rail, land use - planning, planning - service improvement


Berlin, Germany, Random parameters logit model, Mobility, Stated preferences


In the face of climate change and growing health hazards due to air pollution in urban centers, private car use is being increasingly criticized. At the same time, research suggests that there is an unsatisfied demand for modes of transportation other than private cars. In fact, many cities all over Europe have already established car-restricted or car-free areas. This paper uses a discrete choice experiment to learn more about people’s preferences regarding a car-free city center in Berlin, Germany. We find that, given the current infrastructure, around 60% of our respondents are willing to accept a car-free city center. By improving infrastructure for cyclists, willingness to accept a car-free city center strongly increases. Similarly, improving the network of bus stops and train stations as well as rededicating released streets to recreational uses would contribute to a higher acceptance of a car-free city center. Using a random parameters logit model, we have also identified observed and unobserved sources of heterogeneity.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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