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Open AccessConcept Paper

Start Walking! How to Boost Sustainable Mode Choice—Psychological Measures to Support a Shift from Individual Car Use to More Sustainable Traffic Modes

Department of Psychology, Palacky University Olomouc, Krizkovskeho 8, 771 47 Olomouc, Czech Republic
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Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020554
Received: 4 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 January 2020 / Published: 11 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Psychology and Sustainability Transportation)
Transport is one of the sectors that contributes to global warming. To tackle this issue, one of the most important tasks is to enhance/support a mode shift from individual car use to more sustainable traffic modes. To achieve this, psychology-based measures are needed. We need to understand what keeps people from walking, and what motivates people who do walk to do so, or to define the barriers and the preconditions that are needed for walking or cycling. These preconditions are perceived in a different way by different people. As the motivation of individual citizens differs greatly, the preconditions have to be targeted precisely. In this paper a scheme is presented that deals with this issue—i.e., to enhance/support a mode shift to sustainable traffic modes with the following steps: To identify and improve the preconditions for walking; to communicate information, and; to provide opportunities or incentives. As a theoretical background we use a classical marketing model presented by Philip Kotler, which has strong connections with communication and social psychology. Through the case of supporting sustainable traffic modes—the product which will be “sold”—we present the different steps of the model (information, product, communication, incentives, and distribution). With all aspects we emphasize that a holistic approach (a combination of all these aspects and steps) is necessary for a successful marketing process that in fact makes citizens “buy” the idea of walking (more). The main suggestion of this paper is to implement the steps suggested in it in the frame of a pilot project in a city or a province and then to evaluate. Evidence that the suggested measures work when applied appropriately and—as strongly underlined—in a concerted manner can only be achieved by trying in practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable traffic modes; walking; mode choice; traffic psychology; pedestrians sustainable traffic modes; walking; mode choice; traffic psychology; pedestrians
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Risser, R.; Sucha, M. Start Walking! How to Boost Sustainable Mode Choice—Psychological Measures to Support a Shift from Individual Car Use to More Sustainable Traffic Modes. Sustainability 2020, 12, 554.

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