TraMocee: Transforming mobility behavior through corona-related constraints and new experiences.
The corona pandemic has seriously changed mobility behavior worldwide and also in Germany. The distance of all journeys made has been greatly reduced, as the need for many journeys has disappeared due to, for example, home offices, home schooling, travel restrictions, changes in leisure activities and restricted social contacts. In addition to a reduction in mobility, a change in the chosen modes of transport was also observed, e.g. public transport was used significantly less and frequently replaced by individual transport, whether by car, bicycle or on foot.
However, research on changed mobility behavior under corona conditions must not stop at a mere inventory of changes. With a view to the major transformation towards sustainability, the central research question is: What impact do the restrictions and the new experiences they enable have on the long-term trend towards climate protection and sustainable mobility?
Trends towards sustainable mobility were already evident before 2020 in the area of everyday mobility, but also in the business travel culture, and here especially among universities. From a psychological point of view, it can certainly be expected that temporary changes in the everyday mobility situation are also conducive to lasting behavioral changes; especially if an high motivation to change already existed, and if positive experiences are made possible by the temporary changes. In the context of the corona pandemic experiences were, for example, made with reduced or changed everyday and vacation travel mobility. In terms of business trips, alternative, hybrid or entirely digital conference formats were tested and encountered to a greater extent. The pandemic is therefore seen as a window of opportunity to reinforce existing transformation trends (Schmidt, Sieverding, Wallis, & Matthies, 2021).
In the TraMocee project, on the one hand, potentials for stabilizing interventions in everyday mobility (bicycle and public transport use) as well as in vacation travel mobility are identified, following on from a previous study of our own.
On the other hand, the use of the currently large potential for reducing scientific conference travel is being researched in a transformative way with the involvement of organizers and service providers in the conference sector.
The project is funded by The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt - DBU).