Not in my street

Acceptance of car-reducing street experiments in existing neighborhoods


  • Simone Aumann Technical University of Munich
  • Stefanie Ruf Technical University of Munich


urban living labs, car-free streets, acceptance




The urban transport sector is facing transformational challenges in order to reduce motorized private transport and meet climate and livability goals. This includes technological advances such as the conversion from combustion vehicles to e-mobility with decarbonized energy sources and the radical reorganization of living and moving around in our cities. For the success of the mobility transition, public acceptance is of central importance. While the acceptance and the associated use of new forms of mobility at a technological level, such as the acceptance of e-mobility and car sharing, have already been widely discussed (e.g., Gruschwitz et al., 2022), little research has been conducted into the acceptance of measures aimed at changing mobility behavior towards sustainable modes of transport (Becker and Renn, 2019). In particular, the acceptance of car-reduced neighborhood concepts in existing urban structures, i.e. a retrospective implementation of pull and push measures, has not been adequately addressed in current research (Aumann et al., 2023). While there has been some research on the hypothetical implications (Kirschner and Lanzendorf, 2020), urban living labs can help to better understand the processes and specific measures in real-world conditions that help or hinder high acceptability, eliminating potential biases or blind spots of more hypothetical approaches such as the Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) effect and the influence of public engagement on acceptance.

The Car-reduced Neighborhoods for a more Livable City (aqt) project in Munich tested car-restrictive measures such as the closure of street sections for cars to facilitate alternative uses and the introduction of mobility hubs in a five-month living lab in the Südliche Au neighborhood during summer of 2023. The neighborhood with around 11,000 inhabitants is located close to the city center and can be considered a 15- or even 5-minute neighborhood with a high potential for a reduction in car use and ownership, as it is mixed-use, walkable and dense with public transport and basic amenities in close proximity (Büttner et al., 2022).

Prior to the experiments in May 2023, an online survey was conducted in which questions were asked about residents' mobility behavior, socio-demographics and the future of mobility in their neighborhood. In particular, they were asked to evaluate the potential conversion of on-street parking spaces and street sections for other purposes such as green spaces and active mobility in their neighborhood. Survey participants were recruited by dropping a survey invitation letter in their household mailbox. In October 2023, at the end of the street experiments, a second online survey with the same study design and an adapted questionnaire was conducted to evaluate the acceptance of the implemented and changes in mobility behavior and attitudes. In the first survey, N = 559 residents responded, and N = 924 residents participated in the second survey. N = 106 people took part in both survey rounds with a generated identification code allowing for a longitudinal analysis.

By comparing the hypothetical and actual acceptance in a before-and-after-survey, important connotations are expected to be learned from. Preliminary results indicate that acceptance for greenery and opportunities to stay and mingle are high in hypothetical scenarios and in real-life implementations (>60% rate greenery and opportunities to stay and mingle positively in both cases). A NIMBY effect can be observed in the realized experiments, i.e. people tend to evaluate the experiments worse when living in close proximity. Further analysis will test for statistical significance and dive deeper into other factors such as the socio-demographics of persons, mobility behavior and car ownership, perceived noise and neighborhood conflicts as well as the perceived communication and engagement quality of the process potentially associated with acceptance rates.


Aumann, S., Kinigadner, J., Duran‐Rodas, D. and Büttner, B. (2023) ‘Driving Towards Car-Independent Neighborhoods in Europe: A Typology and Systematic Literature Review’, Urban Planning, 8(3), pp.84-98. doi: 10.17645/up.v8i3.6552.

Becker, S. and Renn, O. (2019) ‘Akzeptanzbedingungen politischer Maßnahmen für die Verkehrswende: Das Fallbeispiel Berliner Mobilitätsgesetz’ in Fraune, C., Knodt, M., Gölz, S. and Langer, K. (eds.) Energietransformation. Akzeptanz und politische Partizipation in der Energietransformation: Gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen jenseits von Technik und Ressourcenausstattung. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, pp. 109-130.

Büttner, B., Seisenberger, S., Baquero Larriva, M., Rivas de Gante, A., Haxhija, S., Ramirez, A., McCornick, B. and Atanova, A. (2022) Urban Mobility Next 9, ±15-Minute City: Human-centred planning in action Mobility for more liveable urban spaces. Available at: .

Gruschwitz, D., Brand, T., Volg, I., Follmer, R., Beier, G., Falkowski, A. and Woellert, L. (2022) Nutzergruppenorientierte Transformation des Verkehrssektors am Beispiel der Automobilität: Abschlussbericht. Umweltbundesamt.

Kirschner, F. and Lanzendorf, M. (2020) ‘Support for innovative on-street parking policies: empirical evidence from an urban neighborhood’, Journal of Transport Geography, 85, pp.1-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2020.102726.