The ruling will affect several traffic hubs in the city's downtown area. The suit was brought by environmentalists in the wake of a series of scandals over diesel emissions.
A court in Berlin has sided with environmentalists and ordered a ban on diesel vehicles for several areas in the city's center. It has also ordered the city government to carry out a survey to determine which areas the ban could be expanded to.
This could affect 200,000 vehicles, including commuters' cars and delivery vans. The court gave the Berlin Senate until 2020 to implement the ban, but city officials have already said that such a timeline was impossible.
The suit was brought by the nonprofit Environmental Action Germany (DUH), who had previously sued the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) over the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
DUH was seeking a large prohibition zone for downtown Berlin, where the recommended limits for toxic nitrous oxide have long been exceeded. Such bans have been deemed admissible by the Federal Administrative Court, and are already in place in cities like Hamburg. Frankfurt is also set to introduce a partial diesel driving ban in the city center in 2019.
Berlin's Social Democrat (SPD) and Green party coalition government has planned several projects aimed at reducing emissions, such as having all public buses fully electric by 2030. Until then, buses will be given new high-tech exhaust filters, and the city also plans to greatly expand its cycling infrastructure.
Also on Tuesday, environment ministers from across the European Union were meeting in Luxembourg to look for a common line on new climate protection requirements for cars.