A detour on the way to sustainable mobility

On 4 July, 2016, Dan Podjed presented a paper, entitled 'A Detour on the Way to Sustainable Mobility', at the annual conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, which was held in Durham, UK.

The paper was a part of the panel 'Digital Environmentalisms', convened by Antonia Walford and Hannah Knox (both from University College London). The panel explored digital technologies as key aspects in the formation of a contemporary environmental imaginary, and as a potential site for transforming anthropological approaches to human-environmental relations.

In the well-attended panel Dan Podjed presented comparative findings of the 'DriveGreen' study and explained that environmental awareness has the least influence on mobility habits. Lowering fuel expenses carried more weight, yet was not persuasive enough to help reach the tipping point for sustainable mobility. As explained in the presentation, the 'DriveGreen' team therefore decided to make a detour to promote sustainability via a health and lifestyle app, called '1, 2, 3', that tracks the use of public transport and passenger cars and introduces walking, running, and cycling achievements.

The current version of the app also encourages competition and cooperation by engaging users in individual and collective 'actions.' It is a holistic approach to mobility habits, which are not presented only as a carbon footprint but also as personal and public achievements in physical recreation and in using city transport. (Photo: Ben Campbell)

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