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Compromising sustainable mobility?: the case of the Gothenburg congestion tax
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Department of Economy and Society, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5322-4305
Department of Economy and Society, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Economy and Society, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, ISSN 0964-0568, E-ISSN 1360-0559, Vol. 58, no 6, 1058-1075 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Congestion charging is widely considered an effective policy measure to regulate and reduce car traffic demand and associated environmental and health problems in cities. However, introducing restrictive measures to constrain individual choice and behaviour for the common good has often proven difficult. Using a specific case, the Gothenburg congestion tax introduced in 2013, we study the policy process behind the introduction of the tax and assess to what extent green values were compromised along the way. The tax was made possible by co-financing infrastructure investments, including roads, which seemingly contradicts stated goals of reducing car traffic and emissions. We show how the tax was ‘muddled through’ in a top-down political compromise by a grand coalition where different interests could legitimate their support in relation to the achievement of partially conflicting objectives and projects. However, to declare the regulatory goals fully neutralised would be to underestimate the scheme’s direct environmental effects and restrictive potential. Finding a compromise with powerful political and economic interests was necessary to get it off the ground. Once launched, however, it can over time regain its restrictive properties and lead to more profound long-term effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 58, no 6, 1058-1075 p.
Keyword [en]
congestion pricing; environmental policy; infrastructure financing; sustainable mobility; transport planning
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38223DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.912615OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38223DiVA: diva2:759084
Available from: 2014-10-29 Created: 2014-10-29 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Hysing, Erik
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School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf