Congestion Pricing: The Political Viability of a Neoliberal Spatial Mobility Proposal in Stockholm, London, and New York City

Themis Chronopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the debates and contradictions that surrounded the promotion of congestion pricing proposals in London, Stockholm, and New York City. On the one hand, congestion pricing is a neoliberal urban proposal that seeks to reduce motor traffic in a cordoned area by pricing out certain drivers. On the other hand, the political authorities believe that the success of congestion pricing proposals depends on the degree of redistributive elements regarding spatial mobility that are built into them. Redistribution in the form of improved mass transit provision was proposed in all three cities and was implemented in Stockholm and London. The problem with this political gesture is that neoliberals are lukewarm to redistributive politics and consider spatial mobility to be a matter of capacity and not a right. This means that neoliberal political parties because of their skepticism of redistributive politics, have more difficulties in imposing congestion pricing schemes than Left Parties. The congestion pricing proposal of the New York City failed because it was proposed by a neoliberal city administration without a credible redistributive spatial mobility plan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
JournalUrban Research and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Cite this