The major content of this project is only available in Swedish. However we have made versions of the films with English subtitles that you can see here. Below you’ll find the English summary from our report.
Private cars stands for a significant part of the citizens’ ecological footprint and energy consumption. In order to deal with this it wouldn’t be enough to merely replace today’s fossil cars with renewable alternatives. We must also drive a change in behaviour. If more households could be encouraged to break the norm and live without a car, the benefits for society would be large in terms of both CO2 footprint, congestion, noise and energy.
Our project has shown how a family’s transport needs can be solved with e-bikes, mopeds and four-wheel electric motor bikes instead of by car. We have also shown the enormous benefits of such a transition on a large scale would look like, and how the city is needed to be developed in order to support this transition.
The project consisted of two parts:
The car-free year – We kidnapped the car from three families with kids and studied how they solved their everyday puzzle with the help of light electric vehicles instead.
The car-free city – Based on the insights from the families car-free year, we have outlined how the city could be designed to encourage more people to solve their transport needs in a sustainable way.
The families experienced that it was easier than they had expected to change their habits. They also felt a gain in quality of life and, somewhat surprising, that they in the end had more time rather than less. During the car-free year they decreased their CO2 footprint regarding transport to about 50% and earned some twenty thousand crowns a year by not having a car.
Some highlights from the insights of our study and how we brought those forward in the design concepts:
– The families expressed the need for encouragement and support to dare to make the decision to live car-free.
We therefore advocate a strong and coordinated campaign where several players join forces; the city, employers, private companies, governmental taxation and funding etc.
– The families learned the hard way that today’s cycling infrastructure doesn’t support cargo-bikes.
The cargo-bikes proved to be important because of their ability to take a lot of load. In our concept for bike infrastructure we have provided space for these vehicles.
– The families found it easy to get things delivered to their homes, but difficult to get help to take things away.
We suggest that with a more holistic approach, these problems can be solved through better use of existing transport.
– The families often met strong reactions when their younger children travelled alone with public transport.
To change the norm we propose dedicated seats in public transport for children. It makes both the children themselves feel more comfortable and welcome, but also sends other passengers a clear signal that it is perfectly ok for children to go by themselves.