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Moving towards sustainability? The consequences of residential relocation for mobility and the built environment

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
NRP 54 - A7
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Transport infrastructure makes up one third of the built environment in Switzerland. Particularly in agglomerations, traffic problems have increased. There is a consensus among experts that the transport policy measures implemented so far have not been able to promote a development towards sustainability. Part of society shows little interest in changing its personal mobility habits, which are characterized by deeply entrenched habits and routines.


Recent studies suggest that routine behaviour becomes weakened at certain moments when people reorganize their personal lives, for example when starting a family or moving home. With this in mind, the project seeks to identify potential for impacting personal mobility through transport policy, taking residential location into account. At the same time, the project aims at a better understanding of the mobility-relevant decision-making processes associated with moving house. The results should provide insight into the way people generally change their mobility patterns during a time of personal transition.


The project will be conducted in four steps:

1) In-depth biographical interviews in order to reconstruct the decisive relationships and effects in individual mobility behaviours

2) Panel survey in two phases, yielding representative evidence

3) Experimental intervention: One half of the survey participants will be provided with information and advice relevant to mobility; later differences in mobility will be tracked between the two groups

4) Qualitative case study to understand what impacts an intervention had on the target group


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
SNF - Swiss National Science Foundation
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The research demonstrates how individuals change their mobility patterns during a time of personal transition. It aims to shift people's mobility behaviour and preferred modes of mobility in the direction of greater sustainability.

The results show a move to central locations, which is - from the perspective of mobility - a move towards sustainability. Furthermore, total time spent in traffic time went back, in motorised transport even more than 40 percent, while more time for non-motorised tansportation was spent.

It also realised that the potential of a sustainable mobility measure should not be overestimated. Behavioral changes due to the intervention are about 10 percent, within these behavioral changes mainly trowards non-motorized traffic have moved.

Overall, the study demonstrated that the biographical interface of migration (moving to a new place of residence or place of work) should have more attention within a comprehensive mobility management. It is about looking for strategies on how people with a latent readiness can be addressed specifically to a change behavior, if possible even before the move.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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