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Sustainable Transport Futures: Analysis of the Selected Methodologies Supporting the Planning Process Towards Achieving Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. Blekinge Institute of Technology. (SustainTrans)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0974-3196
Chalmers University of Technology, SWE.
Mistra Urban Futures, SWE.
Chalmers University of Technology, SWE.
2018 (English)In: Handbook of Sustainability Science and Research / [ed] W. Leal Filho, Springer, 2018, p. 473-488Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) originate from the transportation sector. Continuously increasing demand for transportation services worldwide is one of the main urban challenges addressed by Sustainable Development Goal 11, target 2. One way to address this issue is to develop an integrated transportation system that can ensure confidence and comfort for the passengers. This will contribute not only to the customers’ experience but also to operators and authorities through sustainable, cost-effective, and profitable services. Conversely, the lack of such a system or a poorly managed system prevents the economy and society from realizing its potential. In the transition towards sustainability, the planning process of complex systems such as transportation often requires supportive tools and methods, such as futures methodologies that assist decision-making by providing information about possible futures. In today’s rapidly changing environment, forecasting tools do not always provide the expected outcomes since it is difficult to predict all the unexpected events. Therefore, there is a demand for alternative methods that not only grasp the constant changes but also create additional value (for example, meeting the needs of multisectoral collaboration and creation of common vision). The present article investigates the usefulness of three such methodologies, namely backcasting, foresighting, and SymbioCity, for the planning process of the bus park and railway station in Kisumu, Kenya, and Centralen in Gothenburg, Sweden. The paper’s contribution is a description of the Kenyan transportation system (which has not been studied in detail before), planning process, and pertinent issues related to the stations both in Kisumu and Gothenburg, located in the sharply contrasting contexts of global South and global North, respectively. On the basis of field research, interviews, and feasibility study of futures methodologies, the paper concludes that backcasting is the most suitable of the methodologies for both places, since it can be applied at a small scale, and provides creative solutions and has a high level of integration of stakeholders. Furthermore, the paper examines the application of the futures methodologies in multisectoral urban transitions apart from transportation and draws conclusion on what can be learnt from it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. p. 473-488
Keywords [en]
Sustainability; Development; Transition; Transportation; Planning process; Multisectoral collaboration; Current state; Backcasting; Forecasting; Bus park; Railway station; Kisumu, Kenya; Centralen; Gothenburg, Sweden
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-17436DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-63007-6_29ISBN: 978-3-319-63007-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-17436DiVA, id: diva2:1272291
Available from: 2018-12-18 Created: 2018-12-18 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Need for speed: towards urban planning for rapid transitioning to sustainable personal mobility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Need for speed: towards urban planning for rapid transitioning to sustainable personal mobility
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Paris Agreement, the recent Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals are examples of United Nation’s facilitated calls for urgent climate action and more generally for a rapid transition of society towards sustainability. Since urban personal mobility is a significant contributor to society’s current sustainability challenges, and considering current trends of population growth and urbanisation, there is a strong need to develop enhanced support for urban planning for rapid transitioning to sustainable personal mobility.

This thesis is part of a wider effort to develop methodological support for such planning and action. The aim of the thesis is to provide a partial foundation for that wider effort by: (i) identifying and organising prominent research themes related to the above topic; and since previous research points to benefits of a transdisciplinary, multisectoral and multicultural approach, (ii) exploring and addressing the complexity of co-production processes in such contexts; and (iii) analysing the appropriateness of some prominent planning approaches for the desired planning support.

The aim is pursued through a systematic literature review, including bibliometric analyses, and two empirical case studies, including workshops, interviews, field studies and feasibility studies. One of the case studies included participants from several countries in the Southern Baltic region and the other case study tested the usefulness of different planning approaches in the local context of Kisumu, Kenya and Gothenburg, Sweden, respectively.

The thesis provides a map of some prominent research themes and discusses their relevance to the field of urban planning for rapid transitioning to sustainable personal mobility. The analysis of the identified themes and their development over the past ten years shows that there has been a shift in mobility planning from ’predict and provide’ towards participatory visionary approaches. This, in turn, has led to new challenges, related to, for example, epistemic communities, language and culture. Furthermore, it is seen that sustainability considerations have become increasingly pronounced in the urban mobility planning literature. However, different dimensions of sustainability are often considered individually (e.g. the ecological and social dimensions) and coordinated approaches to sustainable mobility planning are virtually lacking.

At the methodological level, the thesis provides a preliminary conceptual framework for analysing complexity in co-production processes with regard to epistemic communities, language and culture, as well as a discussion of the usefulness of four specific planning approaches for the desired planning support, namely the backcasting, transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge, foresighting and SymbioCity approaches.

The overall conclusion is that there is a need for research that would show how mobility actors can contribute to resolve pressing issues related to climate change fast enough without compromising other aspects of sustainability, including how temporary trade-offs can be addressed in a strategic way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 3
Keywords
personal mobility, urban planning, rapid transition, sustainability
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17444 (URN)978-91-7295-367-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-01-25, J1640, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2019-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Nikulina, Varvara

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