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On the road to sustainability : exploring transition and transport planning in Oslo, Norway

Weschke, Marius Sandvoll LU (2016) In Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Achieving climate change mitigation targets requires a drastic cut in emissions from the transport sector – a huge challenge for regions where a heavily road-based mobility is already established, and where emissions have steadily increased for the past 20 years. Expectations of highly efficient, fast and ever-increasing mobility adds to the challenge. Oslo, Norway, is a highly relevant case in this respect. It is a region where problems of air pollution and congestion, as well as a growing population, amplify the need for a transition and new solutions. How the transport plans and visions for the Oslo region see the ever-increasing expectations of faster and more efficient mobility for everyone is a field in need of more research. This... (More)
Achieving climate change mitigation targets requires a drastic cut in emissions from the transport sector – a huge challenge for regions where a heavily road-based mobility is already established, and where emissions have steadily increased for the past 20 years. Expectations of highly efficient, fast and ever-increasing mobility adds to the challenge. Oslo, Norway, is a highly relevant case in this respect. It is a region where problems of air pollution and congestion, as well as a growing population, amplify the need for a transition and new solutions. How the transport plans and visions for the Oslo region see the ever-increasing expectations of faster and more efficient mobility for everyone is a field in need of more research. This paper contributes to this by critically discussing the problems connected to highly mobility-driven societies with the use of hypermobility as the theoretical framework. I collected first-hand information from key people within transport planning, as well as from research and environmental organizations in Oslo through semi-structured interviews. In addition, I conducted desk research on the frameworks and relevant transport plans on a regional and national level. The multi-level perspective (MLP) constituted the analytical framework, with which I mapped out the factors that shape visions and plans – with a focus on the transport planning regime. This helped identify where ‘cracks’ in the regime might form, opening up for a transition. Findings suggest that the actors see technological developments and behavior changes related to car-sharing, autonomous vehicles and ICT as promising solutions and niches for the future. Electrification and hydrogen vehicles are seen as an important solution to emissions and air pollution, but it is not sufficiently addressing road traffic volumes. Furthermore, the objectives and self-interest among the actors is a challenge in the planning processes, amplified by the organizational structure in which the planning and cooperation takes place. These organizational structures help maintain status quo hindering a transition. Financing infrastructure is a key discussion point among the informants, and despite optimism in the plans, the visions largely still cling on to the concept of a hyper-mobile population and the regime still depend on cars and the technological fixes to “green” them. This might be interpreted as inherently self-contradictory. Having applied the theory of hypermobility and the framework of the MLP to transport planning, this thesis the encourages further research into the role of hypermobility in largely car-based societies, and the possibilities for transitions. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Norwegian)
Å oppfylle klimamålene krever drastiske kutt i utslippene fra transportsektoren – en massiv utfordring i områder hvor veitrafikk er den dominerende formen for mobilitet og hvor utslippene har gått opp de siste 20 årene. Forventninger om en stadig økende, mer effektiv og rask mobilitet øker utfordringen ytterligere. I lys av disse utfordringene er Oslo en høyst relevant region. Luftkvalitetsproblemer, samt utfordringer knyttet til framkommelighet og en økende befolkning framhever behovet for en omstilling og nye løsninger. Hvordan transportplanene og visjonene i Oslo ser forventningene om en stadig raskere, mer effektiv og økende mobilitet er et interessant felt å studere. Denne oppgaven bidrar til dette ved og kritisk diskutere problemene... (More)
Å oppfylle klimamålene krever drastiske kutt i utslippene fra transportsektoren – en massiv utfordring i områder hvor veitrafikk er den dominerende formen for mobilitet og hvor utslippene har gått opp de siste 20 årene. Forventninger om en stadig økende, mer effektiv og rask mobilitet øker utfordringen ytterligere. I lys av disse utfordringene er Oslo en høyst relevant region. Luftkvalitetsproblemer, samt utfordringer knyttet til framkommelighet og en økende befolkning framhever behovet for en omstilling og nye løsninger. Hvordan transportplanene og visjonene i Oslo ser forventningene om en stadig raskere, mer effektiv og økende mobilitet er et interessant felt å studere. Denne oppgaven bidrar til dette ved og kritisk diskutere problemene i et ‘hypermobilt’ samfunn ved hjelp av det teoretiske rammeverket fra ‘hypermobilitet’. Jeg samlet førstehåndsinformasjon fra sentrale aktører innen transportplanlegging, samt fra forskning og miljøorganisasjoner i Oslo gjennom semi-strukturerte intervjuer. I tillegg utførte jeg et skrivebordsstudie av det teoretiske og analytiske rammeverket, samt transportplanene på både nasjonalt, regionalt og lokalt nivå. Multi-nivå perspektivet (multi-level perspective - MLP) fungerte som mitt analytiske rammeverk, og jeg brukte det til å kartlegge faktorene som former visjonene og planene – med et fokus på transportplanleggings- ‘regimet’. Dette identifiserte hvor ulike ‘sprekker’ i regime kan oppstå, som igjen kan føre til en overgang. Resultatene viser at aktørene i regime ser den teknologiske utviklingen, samt holdningsendringer knyttet til bildeling, autonome kjøretøy og ICT som lovende løsninger og nisjer for framtida. Elektriske og hydrogen-elektriske kjøretøy ses på som en viktig løsning for å senke utslippene og bedre luftkvaliteten, men det bidrar ikke til å løse fremkommelighetsutfordringer. Målene og interessene blant aktørene er en utfordring i planarbeidet, som ytterligere forsterket av de organisatoriske strukturene hvor planleggingen finner sted. Disse strukturene er med på å opprettholde status-quo, og forhindre en overgang. Finansieringsstrukturer er et sentralt poeng blant informantene. På tross av optimisme i planene følger visjonene i stor grad en retning som underbygger en hypermobil befolkning, hvor bilen er sentral og teknologiske løsninger for å gjøre bilparken miljøvennlig er løsningen. Dette kan ses på som selvmotsigende. Gjennom å anvende teorien om hypermobilitet og MLP-rammeverket på transportplanlegging, oppfordrer denne oppgaven til ytterligere forskning på rollen til ‘hypermobilitet’ i bil-baserte samfunn, og mulighetene for en overgang. (Less)
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author
Weschke, Marius Sandvoll LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Sustainability Science, transport planning, hypermobility, Oslo, multi level perspective
publication/series
Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:012
language
English
id
8878196
date added to LUP
2016-06-08 11:19:48
date last changed
2016-06-08 11:19:48
@misc{8878196,
  abstract     = {Achieving climate change mitigation targets requires a drastic cut in emissions from the transport sector – a huge challenge for regions where a heavily road-based mobility is already established, and where emissions have steadily increased for the past 20 years. Expectations of highly efficient, fast and ever-increasing mobility adds to the challenge. Oslo, Norway, is a highly relevant case in this respect. It is a region where problems of air pollution and congestion, as well as a growing population, amplify the need for a transition and new solutions. How the transport plans and visions for the Oslo region see the ever-increasing expectations of faster and more efficient mobility for everyone is a field in need of more research. This paper contributes to this by critically discussing the problems connected to highly mobility-driven societies with the use of hypermobility as the theoretical framework. I collected first-hand information from key people within transport planning, as well as from research and environmental organizations in Oslo through semi-structured interviews. In addition, I conducted desk research on the frameworks and relevant transport plans on a regional and national level. The multi-level perspective (MLP) constituted the analytical framework, with which I mapped out the factors that shape visions and plans – with a focus on the transport planning regime. This helped identify where ‘cracks’ in the regime might form, opening up for a transition. Findings suggest that the actors see technological developments and behavior changes related to car-sharing, autonomous vehicles and ICT as promising solutions and niches for the future. Electrification and hydrogen vehicles are seen as an important solution to emissions and air pollution, but it is not sufficiently addressing road traffic volumes. Furthermore, the objectives and self-interest among the actors is a challenge in the planning processes, amplified by the organizational structure in which the planning and cooperation takes place. These organizational structures help maintain status quo hindering a transition. Financing infrastructure is a key discussion point among the informants, and despite optimism in the plans, the visions largely still cling on to the concept of a hyper-mobile population and the regime still depend on cars and the technological fixes to “green” them. This might be interpreted as inherently self-contradictory. Having applied the theory of hypermobility and the framework of the MLP to transport planning, this thesis the encourages further research into the role of hypermobility in largely car-based societies, and the possibilities for transitions.},
  author       = {Weschke, Marius Sandvoll},
  keyword      = {Sustainability Science,transport planning,hypermobility,Oslo,multi level perspective},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {On the road to sustainability : exploring transition and transport planning in Oslo, Norway},
  year         = {2016},
}