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Low Carbon Transitions Pathways in Mobility: applying the MLP in a combined case study and simulation bridging analysis of passenger transport in the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jonathan Köhler, Bruno Turnheim, Michael Hodson

Original languageEnglish
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2018

King's Authors


The analysis addresses two critical gaps in the literature on low-carbon mobility transitions: 1) scenarios of low-carbon mobility concentrate on technological substitution and have only a limited representation of niche-regime interactions and behavioural change, and 2) detailed qualitative analysis of socio-technical transitions dynamics have limited utility in developing future projections. It applies the Multi-Level Perspective on transitions, combining case studies of mobility niches in the Netherlands with simulations of transitions pathways using the MATISSE model, by applying the bridging approach proposed by Turnheim et al. (2015a). The iterative, combined qualitative case study and quantitative simulation approach develops transition pathways including both behavioural and technological change.

The results show that both technological substitution to low carbon cars or a reconfiguration pathway away from car ownership to mobility lifestyles based on new public transport or cycling and walking for local trips are possible. However, while there is empirical evidence for the initial stage of a technological substitution to battery electric vehicles, transitions away from car ownership as the dominant mobility lifestyle have to overcome an established regime and will require major changes in culture and behaviour as well as support for new priorities in the institutions of transport planning.

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