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Co-evolution of Technical and Social Change in Action: Hasselt's Approach to Urban Mobility

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Abstract:

Much contemporary sustainability policy is a mix of a little bit of technological fix and a little bit of social campaigning. But this seemingly fair compromise misses important potentials for concrete progress towards a more sustainable society. What is needed instead is a synergistic, strategically synchronized or co-evolutionary relationship between technical and social change. The mobility policy in the Belgian city of Hasselt, presented as the empirical core of this paper, provides support for this position. Its underlying principle is the attempt to make more sustainable behaviours attractive through a coherent set of policy, social and urban design interventions. What makes this case successful is not just its massive scale but the synergistic coherence of all measures. Hasselt is therefore a case from which mobility experts technophiles and technophobes alike can learn.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2148/benv.34.2.182

Publication date: May 29, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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