Beyond the plan: methods of triggering long-term change in urban and regional mobility

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Mobility is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that operates on multiple scales and is highly interwoven with technological, economic, social, cultural trends. Currently, multiple urban and regional projects and initiatives address the issue. For a prolonged sustainable result, ‘communication’ and ‘participation’ accompany the process – but a set of actions disconnected from a larger strategy will fail to bring about change within a complex system. Mobility is produced in the constant interplay of transport offer, user demand and behavior in relation to spatial configuration and urban qualities. Transforming mobility is a long-term process to the extent that impact exceeds plan-action. This paper understands mobility change as multiple transformation processes. It demonstrates how the scope of planning has broadened and proposes communicative planning methods as triggers of long-term change in urban and regional mobility. Four interrelated fields of tension serve as a framework: (1) Start here today. (2) Networked thinking and design. (3) Involving players beyond ideologies. (4) Make a difference in space. This framework is used to discuss the change of mobility in the context of a dialogue format for practitioners and researchers. The transformative capacity of communicating planning methods in several cases from practice and research approaches are discussed.
communicative planning methods, urban and regional mobility, transformation, systems thinking and action