We know that if men traveled like women, Umeå municipality were to reach its climate targets on passenger transport. In order to break traditional travel patterns and reduce the climate impact, we wanted to increase knowledge about how norms, identity and contextual driving forces affect the choice of mode of transport.
Umeå municipality is one of nine municipalities that signed a climate contract on 11 December 2020. Climate Contract 2030 is a contract to accelerate development to reach climate-neutral cities. In this way, Umeå wants to show its intention by being a forerunner. The municipality has, among other things, as a goal that 65 percent of trips within the Umeå conurbation should be made with sustainable means of transport by 2025. Encouraging more Umeå residents to travel sustainably in everyday life is central to achieving climate neutrality, just like in other cities. Umeå municipality also has a long tradition of working with gender equality as part of community planning. For Umeå, social sustainability is a prerequisite for achieving the goals of a growing and climate-neutral city.
Together with RISE, Umeå did the project, with the overarching goal of using a perspective of power, gender and identity to investigate areas where people currently mainly travel by car and, with the help of service design methodology and norm-critical innovation, identify solutions.
Initially, there was a large focus on physical and structural changes. For example, improved opportunities for traveling by public transport and safety-creating changes to the physical environment. Dialogues within the project as well as in external constellations, however, have changed tone, and a greater focus has now been directed towards new behaviors and values that it creates. In short, this change in attitude can be described as a shift from "solve our problem" to "it is good if we can help each other so that everyone can travel in a sustainable way that is also better for both health and the company as a whole".
RISE facilitated dialogues and carried out field studies with municipalities and ws with companies. This led to the companies and the municipality listing a series of different measures, where the municipality took responsibility for some parts and the companies for others. For example, companies can work more on changing the attitude of their employees, offer better bicycle parking and adapt working hours to public transport, while the municipality can make improvements in the built environment and new bus stops, etc. Furthermore, it was established that behavioral change is what will lead to the most change in the long term - and this is achieved by co-creating the solutions.
The change is happening together and this was just the beginning of a long-term collaboration between RISE, Umeå municipality and the companies in Västerslätt.
Equal and sustainable work commuting
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