A mobility service to encourage behavior change

The city of Milan like most cities is full of smog, noise and traffic. Everyone would benefit if we used more environmentally friendly ways to get around. This service takes the form of a personalized routing app. The app is designed not only to help people find their way around the city but to encourage them to leave their car at home and to bike or walk instead. I found that an effective strategy for long term behaviour change regarding this issue was to: create a culture of change, shift the person’s perception of distances and to use competition as a driver. I did extensive research in the city of Milan around this topic. See some examples below.
Findings
5.4 movements a day
3.4 movements in a car if it is an option
Average driver drives less than 5km
Most streets are less than 1.5 km
Research methods
Personal inventory (above)
Driving diaries (above)
Time lapse & observation
Interviews
Distance perception
When it comes to walkability, it’s more about perception than reality. For example, if you are on 32nd and Lexington and someone calls you to get a coffee at 42nd and Lexington, you happily walk the ten blocks uptown. If that same person calls and she is on 32nd and 6th, you do it, but you aren’t as happy about it. It feels further even if it’s only 4 blocks.
Solution touch points
Behavior change
Based on research conducted in the field of anthropology, IDEO synthesized an effective approach to behaviour change:

1 - Make the new change not scary but inviting. The change should seem effortless and rewarding if done properly. “Speak joy not fear.”

2 - Enable peer pressure and cultural norms. Changing the norms could lead to an alteration in their own desires.
Features:
Smart Route
The application would calculate the fastest route (excluding the car) taking into account:

- Dynamic Traffic Data
- Sustainable Businesses Nearby
- Routes with Better Air Quality
Distance Perception: Compares the distance of a trip they are reluctant to travel without the help of their car to an activity that seems effortless but covers the same distance. For an example: walking 1km to go shopping is the same distance as walking around a small park
Features:
Profiling and Comparisons
The user's information could be taken from facebook or input manually. The type of car or motorcycle would be essential for comparisons.
Comparisons:
1. Users can compare their status and statistics to those of other people in the network.
2. Users can see a comparison between their trips with the car to the trips without their car in terms of money, the environment and health
Features:
Promotional Challenges
These challenges could either be sponsored by businesses or by the municipality.
Events would also ideally accompany these challenges.
These events could draw people into the discovery of the service while the social aspect helps create a culture of sustainable mobility.

The accelerometer keeps track of which mode of transportation and for how far.
Goal
If people would alter their behavior regarding transit even a little bit the city could become a much healthier and pleasant place to live.
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