Social participation for sustainable mobility : The effects of digital transformation on mobility behavior

University essay from Jönköping University/IHH, Informatik

Abstract: Overall traffic in Germany is constantly increasing. Automobiles account for 57 percent of all trips in the country (BMVI, 2018). Steady population growth, urban agglomeration, and sprawl of cities contribute significantly to this trend. Simultaneously, the rise of digital services is progressively complementing travel by route planning, navigation, and ticketing. Therefore, a redesign and reinterpretation of the traditional understanding of the mobility landscape is required. The purpose of this work is twofold. First, to investigate the effects of digital transformation on people’s mobility behavior in public space, arguing for ecosystems in blended space being a consequence of the digital transformation at large. Second, to explore how social participation can lead to societal change for sustainable travel in the context of digital transformation. Digital technology has blurred the boundaries between physical and digital. Although physical and digital spaces are treated as separate parts, the former relates to the success of the latter. Qualitative interviewing was applied to systematically create an understanding about key actors’ roles and interdependencies as well as their perspective on how digital technologies modify today’s mobility landscape. This work concludes that the digital transformation allows individuals to influence travel demand purposefully. The system’s underlying structure reveals travel as purposive demand, a pattern extending the understanding of travel as a derived demand and valued activity. The Multi-Layered Participatory Process (MLPP), developed on the basis of the study’s findings, provides means to enable large scale social acceptance for sustainable mobility behavior.

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