Power in Transition: Empowering Discourses on Sustainability Transitions
01 / 2006 - 12 / 2011
The current transport system suffers from a series of serious, persistent problems: congestion, pollution, traffic accidents leading to casualties, noise, and fragmentation of landscapes in rural areas and loss of space in urban areas. In addition, transport is a major energy consumer and contributor to anthropogenic climate change. All countries suffer from the above problems, which suggests that there is no apparent short-term solution to these problems, although many instruments have been applied to limit the social costs of transport, from land-use planning to pricing & taxation, and from standards for emissions to freight management. This suggests two things. First, alternative systems of mobility are needed, and second, public policy should be concerned with managing transition aspects of moving from the existing system to one that is more sustainable. More specifically, this project will examine visions of sustainable mobility, assess the visions (using participatory IA), bring together knowledge about experiences with alternative mobility and develop scenarios for mobility. The project is policy oriented through its focus on transition management. While most of the discussions on sustainable transport are about short-term policy instruments (Banister et al., 2000; Feitelson et al., 2001), oriented towards improving the current transport passenger system, in this project we will focus on transition policies, i.e. on intervention approaches and new modes of governance, directed towards system innovation. Special attention will be given to short-term steps for transition policy. 2.0 Project description 2.1 Goal, aim, mission The project aims at developing an integrated assessment of the mobility problem, using the transition concepts of multi-stage and multi-level (Rotmans et al., 2000), and based on this analysis, develop visions of alternative mobility that are sustainable, i.e. attractive from social, ecological, economic and user point of view. We will examine initiatives with alternative mobility in the Netherlands and in other countries, including experiences with citizen involvement in transport projects and discussions about transport futures. On the basis of the causality analysis and experiences with alternative modes of mobility, we will develop transition scenarios (in cooperation with KSI-project II.7) that describe the co-evolution of policy, technology and behaviour. Special attention will be given to practices, how these will change in interaction with other developments. The project will undertake a diffusion analysis of two alternative forms of mobility, probably hybrid electric vehicles and urban chain mobility. The model will be a micro-economic model in which systemic (socio technical) aspects of transport are incorporated. Finally, we will organise a stakeholder process about local sustainable mobility in which we will observe the interaction between different actor perspectives, aiming to develop a shared perspective as basis for an integrated vision on sustainable mobility.