University of Limerick
CullinaneCosgrove_EngagingCommunities_SustainableBehaviourChange_LimerikCity_ITRN2013.pdf (808.22 kB)

Engaging communities for sustainable behaviour change in Limerick City

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conference contribution
posted on 2015-10-02, 13:37 authored by Kay Cullinane, Tom Cosgrove
As 'Ireland's Smarter Travel Demonstration City' Limerick is charged with piloting ways to convince its citizens to move around their city in a more sustainable way, in particular to walk, cycle and use public transport more. The project is funded by the Department of Transport with EU support and implemented by a multi-disciplinary team of University of Limerick (UL) researchers and Limerick Local Authority staff. Behaviour change programs tend to focus on a few behavioural change theories which gained ground in the 1980s. Many theories explain the behaviour change process in terms of several cyclical stages. Limerick Smarter Travel (LST) is adopting the ‘Seven Doors Social Marketing Approach,’ which defines each stage in terms of the type of obstacle to be overcome. This model for behaviour change assigns different types of intervention according to the stage of readiness of the individual or community. The LST team works with the community in the design of infrastructure principally walking and cycling routes. This facilitates a new type of participatory planning to meet the felt needs of the community. This generates goodwill and trust that further benefits the project. LST collaborates with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and works closely with An Taisce and with relevant disciplines within UL. LST is working with the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) to link health and wellbeing initiatives with the project. LST has recruited 30 local champions to take on a ‘20 Weeks of Change’ challenge to incorporate Smarter Travel into their daily routine and to measure the impact on their health and well-being. This element of the LST project offers huge potential to link with national health and education policy and broaden the vision for Smarter Travel. This paper describes the development and implementation of community engagement, design, and education in Smarter Travel. LST is laying the foundations for long term change whose implications for local government practice, the built environment and the health and well-being of local communities will only become apparent over decades.



ITRN 2013 Conference;


Irish Transport Research Network



Other Funding information

Dept. of Transport, Ireland, European Commission



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