How to convince people to leave their habits aside …

How to convince people to leave their habits aside, and abandon the car in favour of alternative modes of transport such as cycling, walking, public transport …? This is the big issue for today’s cities, and especially here, for the SustraMM project partners.

Communication tools that are used need to be more effective, and allow people, residents, partners, stakeholders and other actors to “understand in order to be able to act”.

That’s a first key: without understanding the issues, who would want to leave his comfortable individual motorized vehicle to get around? This is why the City of Cluses (FR) has created a specific page on the website of its Local Agenda 21 program. This page contains all solutions existing in Cluses for alternative mobility: city bus, local bus, bike paths, trains and station, carpooling platform …

Alternatively, do as the City of Pirna (DE) that involved in very concrete terms the inhabitants to new mobility projects. Participatory workshops have enabled citizens to get involved in the project to create a bus line in the historic downtown. By enabling residents to own the project, the City ensures better use of the new new service.

Create the challenge
Finally, another key to changing behaviour may be to hold a contest to promote the motivation of citizens: this is how the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden (SE) has developed various challenges, as the ”Southeast pedals spring competition” which is promoting cycling for commuters. In 2011, the challenge has mobilized 950 participants.
Finally, the mobility management definitively goes through experimentation with different modes of communication and awareness. The goal: make alternatives attractive, and demonstrate that it is possible, inexpensive, easy, and good for the Planet!

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