Infoscience

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Mobility practices of non- motorized households, the cases of Quebec City and Strasbourg

By the simple fact of not owning a private automobile, some households are already living a sustainable mobility lifestyle. They rely on public transportation, walking, cycling and car sharing and generally travel less than car-owning households. According to Tabbone (forthcoming) non-motorized households in France consume on average 5850 kWh less per year than motorized households, representing 34% less energy consumption than the average for motorized urban and periurban households1. Even when we look only at the energy consumption footprint inside the residence, excluding mobility, non-motorized households still consume on average 9% less than their motorized counterparts. The good news is that in many European cities, in Geneva and Lausanne for example, the number of non-motorized households is rapidly increasing (Fabbo et al., 2014, p. 311). Although non-motorized households is a group showing sustainable practices in their daily mobility, current sustainable mobility policies often do not take into account these kinds of households, focussing instead on convincing car owners to shift modal behaviours (Grengs, 2005, p. 52; Kaufmann, Jemelin, Pflieger, & Pattaroni, 2008, p. 18). Sometimes non-motorized feel socially excluded, because their mobility is limited for a lack of private car (Schönfelder & Axhausen, 2003, p. 273). The situation of people deprived of motorized vehicles in a car- dependent context appears as an exemplary case to study the complex intertwining of justice issues in contemporary cities. In order to explore this phenomenon and shed light on the mobility practices of non-motorized households living in car-dependent Western cities we met with 57 non-motorized households in Quebec City, Canada and Strasbourg, France as part of our PhD dissertation. We use discourse analysis software (IRaMuTeQ) to analyze and compare the verbatim transcript of our interviews between the two cities. We would like to present our findings at the Swiss Mobility Conference in the discussions related to mobility “actors and their logics of action (residential choice, modal practices, multilocal living, etc)”. Through our lexocimetric analysis we have exposed the different discourse that non-motorized households have when reflecting on which activities or area 1 Based on a sample representative of the entire population of France in 2013 that cannot partake in due to their lack of private vehicles. Based on different variables: gender, feeling excluded or not, living in Quebec City or Strasbourg, being a member or not of the car-sharing system and revenue level, we can show that their discourse varies and discuss these differences. We generate these results by performing a specificity analysis and generate a word cloud for each variable’s modality. For example, we show that non-motorized households in Quebec City have particular problems going to a cinema, the hardware store or visiting relatives and face a lot of waiting while the households of Strasbourg have difficulty with grocery and weekend getaways to popular destinations like the Vosges mountain range or villages. During our interviews, we have also discussed the daily mobility of these households for various reasons: work, shopping, visiting family and friends and leisure. Through similar analysis, we show the difference in discourse based on our variables. For example, while women seem to rely on carpooling and discuss specific bus routes, men seem to rely on car sharing and car rentals as well as the bicycle.

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