The number of trips of the average urban inhabitant per year has grown steadily in recent years – but we are actually moving (our bodies) less. Every day, millions of trips are made by car or other motorised private vehicles as well as with public transport, while only a small percentage of trips are made by active transport modes, such as walking and cycling. Many people even talk about our sedentary lifestyles as an epidemic because the resulting negative impacts on our health and quality of life has reached unprecedented levels.
These negative trends can be reversed: A new urban mobility culture is blooming. Most cities aspire to create more people-friendly places to encourage walking and cycling by establishing new services to cater for pedestrians (i.e. wayfinding, real time multimodal information, shared and multi-modal mobility solutions) and by designing suitable infrastructure to make walking and cycling safer and more comfortable.
Car traffic is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and impacts urban quality of life in many ways. SWITCH’s main objective is to reduce GHG-emissions and primary energy consumption by replacing car trips by switching to walking and cycling (active modes) for short urban trips. Breaking car based routines not only impacts mode choice for short trips but opens people’s mind to other options for other journeys. Active modes, like walking and cycling are the basis of healthy, environmentally friendly multimodal travel behaviour with synergies to public transport.
The SWITCH-approach uses personalised travel planning approaches to encourage people to switch car trips to active modes. The innovation comes from:
- The combination of tried and tested personalised travel planning approaches
- Their application to target groups of persons in life changing moments on large scale
- The application of ICT solutions like Smartphone applications and Intelligent Health's Beat the Street system
- The use of arguments from public health to motivate behavioural change.
Five local campaigns will be implemented using a three-step approach: Raise awareness, impart knowledge and motivate behavioural change. An overall process and quantitative output evaluation in integrated in the campaign. A set of training documents, workshops and webinars will be developed to stimulate cities outside the consortium to follow the SWITCH-approach.
- The SWITCH toolbox attracting cities to follow the SWITCH-approach and providing a step by step guideline to design, prepare, implement and evaluate a SWITCH-Campaign integrating the aspects of reducing car trips by modal shift to walking and cycling, personal travel planning for persons in certain life change moments by using health messages and ICT-tools.
- 5 local SWITCH campaigns are designed building on a common and transferable SWITCH-design adapted to the local requirements of implementation cities. The process of training and take-up aimed at imparting competences at the implementation cities to achieve measurable and sustainable results.
- 5 local SWITCH campaigns are implemented with at least 11,000 persons directly contacted in the implementation cities. A participation rate of at least 60% and serious changes in mobility behaviour of the respondents will be achieved, e.g. car trips reduced or replaced by active travel (walking or cycling), reduced trip distances by changes in destination . At least 50% of the participants change their mobility behaviour for a ten percent decrease in car use and related GHG-emissions.
- Training and take-up activities on the SWITCH-approach with guidance and on-site training for at least 20 follower cities (e.g. training work shops, webinars, national placements, expert consultation) added by concepts of various side events, ICT-solutions and information material to apply in a SWITCH-campaign are offered to other European Cities.
- The idea of the SWITCH-campaign and how to implement it with the aim to reduce GHG-emissions and primary ernergy consuption by replacing short car trips by active modes is disseminated over Europe.