Walk Your City: Using Nudging to Promote Walking

Wernbacher, Thomas and Platzer, Mario and Schneider, Josefine and Titze, Sylvia and Denk, Natalie and Pfeiffer, Alexander (2020) Walk Your City: Using Nudging to Promote Walking. SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1009-1018. ISSN 2521-3938

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In recent decades, a stagnation or even a decline in pedestrian traffic has been observed in many cities, despite the ambitious efforts of national and international action plans, strategies and initiatives. Our project, which is named “Walk Your City”, addresses this problem by designing, developing and evaluating an innovative behavioural-based pedestrian initiative, with a focus on “nudging” as the applied method. The overall aim is to decisively raise awareness of walking as an active and health-enhancing activity through behavioural approaches such as nudging. The core of our approach is represented by “nudges”, which aretriggered via an app as well as offline campaigns. The story refers to a not-so-distant dystopian future where the pilot city of Graz in Austria suffers from pollution and traffic chaos, as well as climate change. Through regular walking, as well as visiting places such as parks or viewpoints, users of the app are rewarded with tokens. Following the idea of crowdsourcing, these tokens can be invested into desired improvements such as parking benches or zebra crossings. Through this unique combination of technological innovation, a funapproach, behavioural concepts and a creative campaign, participants are motivated to explore and experience the city on foot. Walking should be perceived as a genuine and healthy alternative for short distances (<3 km), and the first choice when covering small distances (<1 km). The nudging approach will be iteratively optimized in terms of acceptance, functionality and usability, using focus groups, internal lab tests and expert workshops. This strategy will ensure a practice-oriented project implementation that is tailored to the needs of the different target groups, such as students, commuters and tourists. The mobility and health data obtained during the pilot test will be used to evaluate the suitability and impact of the nudging approach in an academic paper. As the empirical data show, a behavioural change in terms of a larger share of walking in the modal split, as well a positive impact on the interest and awareness regarding the effects of walking, can be observed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The Walk Your City project presented in this paper was funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Walking, City, Urban Planning, Nudging, Gamification
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 18:00
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 18:00
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/717

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