Séminaire du CIRED : Maia David (PSAE)

CIRED seminar: Maia David (PSAE)

The Urban Green Space Dilemma: Improved ecosystem services or smooth traffic?

Maia David (PSAE)


The effects of climate change and pollution are leading local authorities to develop
urban green spaces and related ecosystem services. While ecosystem services help to in-
crease the quality of life of city inhabitants, they may result in a substantial reduction
of the space available for car traffic and parking. We know little about the preferences
of individuals in this urban planning context. We first propose a theoretical framework
to analyse the preferences of individuals regarding the trade-off between urban ecosystem
services and urban space for cars, and to identify potential sources of individual hetero-
geneity in preferences. We then present the results of a discrete choice experiment on tram
network greening in the French metropolitan area of Lyon. A survey of 500 inhabitants
was conducted in 2022. Our results show that respondents value urban greening for its
potential for reducing air temperatures during heat waves and for increasing biodiversity,
but are substantially opposed to a high reduction in the space available for traffic and
parking. We also find a significant heterogeneity in inhabitants’ preferences. Those who
live in the city center, use private vehicles, are less sensitive to the environment, have high
incomes and/or have less children are more likely to be opposed to the tram greening.

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