Headline: Climate change and air pollution. The connection between traffic intervention policies and public acceptance in a local context

Urban mobility is the main source of air pollution in Europe and accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. In order to address this, a range of interventions and policies are being implemented across major European cities and studies in sustainable urban transport have proliferated. One such mitigation strategy involves redesigning urban form through 'hard' traffic policies, with a view of decreasing emission levels and therefore mitigating the effects of air pollution and climate change. However, efforts to assess public response to such interventions and the effectiveness of policy instruments in promoting sustainable travel in cities remain sparse. The city of Potsdam, Germany implemented a trial traffic measure aimed at reducing motorized traffic and promoting the use of bicycles and public transport systems. This study analysed data from 3553 survey participants who responded to a survey conducted prior to the implementation of the traffic measure. We aimed to identify mobility behaviours and underlying attitudes within the context of a 'hard' policy instrument, in order to obtain insight into the opportunities to more effectively define policy priorities that improve air quality and upscale climate mitigation. An exploratory cluster analysis identified four groups, characterised by mobility habits, their attitudes towards the measure, and general level of environmental concern. By identifying and understanding the differing attitudes and perceptions across population groups we are able to highlight group-specific barriers and opportunities, as well as potential transition pathways to encourage more sustainable transportation use. This study exemplifies how context can help to further shape mobility group typologies, identify policy-related priorities useful for decision-makers and assess the feasibility of policy instruments to facilitate a transformation towards more sustainable cities.

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Academic Articles

Weiand, L., Schmitz, S., Becker, S., Niehoff, N., Schwartzbach, F., & von Schneidemesser, E. (2019). Climate change and air pollution. The connection between traffic intervention policies and public acceptance in a local context. Environmental Research Letters, 14(8): 085008. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab299b.

https://publications.rifs-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_4529890_8/component/file_4… https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab3d81
Staff involved
Projects involved
Kopernikus Project Energy Transition Navigation System (Enavi) Climate Change and Air Pollution: Research Needs and Pathways to Policy Implementation