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Understanding voluntary travel behavior change. 26 th Australasian Transport Research Forum

By Elizabeth Ampt, Elizabeth Ampt and Steer Davies Gleave


Since the late 1990s, there have been examples of travel behaviour change programs using what are termed ‘voluntary behaviour change methods ’ – primarily in Europe and Australia. At the same time, in the attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in water, energy and waste, there has been a considerable amount of research and experience in household voluntary behaviour change methods in these non-transport areas. This paper takes an in-depth look at the concept of voluntary behaviour change. The first section of the paper draws lessons from these other fields. The paper then examines the change tools that can be offered – based on experience in other fields, as well as in the transport literature – before it devotes attention to unravelling the differences between a social marketing approach and a community development approach to voluntary behaviour change. It concludes that, while both can be effective, there are some risks in using a social marketing approach when the marketing aspect is overemphasised. Finally, based on a recent program in Melbourne, Australia, it presents an example where the sociological principles of behaviour change in all areas is combined to develop a new approach to travel behaviour change offering people multiple tools, based on their key values. This differs from past approaches that have usually focussed first on the policymakers’ key goals – to reduce emissions or congestion

Topics: community development, social marketing. Page IUnderstanding Voluntary Travel Behaviour Change
Year: 2003
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