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Shared consumption as a pathway to low-carbon transition in urban mobility

Authors: Ove Langeland, Tom Erik Julsrud, Steven Sarasini, Marcus Linder
Report nr: 8556/2016
Language: English

Moving from an unsustainable transport system towards a low-carbon urban mobility system is a key challenge in the years ahead. This paper focuses on transformation of household mobility practices due to the emergence of new business models for shared consumption of mobility services (car sharing etc.). Although spurred by new mobile technologies and applications shared consumption is primarily related to non-technical innovations focusing on changing mobility practices (Hyard 2013; Shove and Walker 2010), new markets and new forms of cooperation and business models (Chesbrough 2010, Teece 2010). The provision and organisation of urban transport infrastructure have largely been perceived as a technical (engineering) challenge (Graham and Marvin 2001). Accordingly, technological transport innovations (hybrid and electric vehicles, biofuel, hydrogen fuel cells etc.) have been regarded as the most proper tools to obtain changes toward a more efficient and sustainable mobility. However, technological innovations are unlikely to bring about the necessary transformation of the urban mobility system by itself. Changes in mobility practices and development of new business models are also required. Therefore, a transition of the mobility system imply both technological and non-technological/organisational innovations. It requires deep structural changes of both an established transport system, its organisational forms and of ingrained mobility patterns. The paper combines a system approach of socio-technical transitions in transport (Geels 2012), with a micro-level perspective based on social practice theories of mobility (Reckwitz 2002, Schwanen et al., 2012).


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