Economics at your fingertips  

Car-reduced neighborhoods as blueprints for the transition toward an environmentally friendly urban transport system? A comparison of narratives and mobility-related practices in two case studies

Sina Selzer

Journal of Transport Geography, 2021, vol. 96, issue C

Abstract: In the pursuit of sustainability, the concept of ‘car-reduced neighborhoods’ promises to decrease car ownership and increase car-independent mobility. However, mobility is not only designed from ‘above’ by planners and policymakers, but also shaped from ‘below’ by its practitioners and their contexts. Only a few studies currently bring together the perspective from ‘above’ and ‘below’ regarding car-reduced neighborhoods. This article therefore combines both perspectives by contrasting the narratives and the mobility-related practices of two German car-reduced urban residential areas. Firstly, we conduct interviews with various actors involved in the planning and implementation of both neighborhoods to identify the narratives. Secondly, we interview the residents to determine the mobility-related practices. Finally, we compare both empirical investigations to analyze the commonalities and differences of the ‘planning vision’ and the ‘lived practice’ of car-free living, car-independent mobility, and restrictive car parking. Although this study identifies differences between the two perspectives, the discrepancy is smaller than evaluated in earlier studies. After relocating to a car-reduced neighborhood, residents tend to maintain, strengthen, and adapt car-independent mobility practices rather than weakening car-independent mobility practices and maintaining car-dependent ones. Thus, residents seem to be encouraged to drive less and to leave their cars parked for most of the time. However, relocating to a car-reduced neighborhood does not automatically initiate full demotorization. Furthermore, residents' parking practices also sometimes deviate from the planning vision. Consequently, the article concludes that overcoming the ‘system’ of automobility for a ‘post-car system’ requires continuous (i) material and (ii) immaterial change fostered by political and planning readiness, as well as local willingness and public acceptability. In this regard, car-reduced neighborhoods can be seen as blueprints for a mobility transition.

Keywords: Car-reduced neighborhood; Car ownership; Travel behavior; Mobility transition; Residential relocation; Parking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2021.103126

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Transport Geography is currently edited by Frank Witlox

More articles in Journal of Transport Geography from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-01-25
Handle: RePEc:eee:jotrge:v:96:y:2021:i:c:s0966692321001794