A multi-level perspective analysis of urban mobility system dynamics: What are the future transition pathways?

Afsaneh Moradi*, Emidia Vagnoni

*Corresponding author for this work

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Transport sector is one of the main contributors to air pollution, greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions, specifically in urban areas, and is the only sector that has not yet achieved sustainability objectives. Increasing concerns about emissions from the transport sector highlight the need for urgent actions for change to more sustainable systems that consider the needs of all social groups, be more affordable and less polluted. Transition studies focus on actions and plans used to change the current system to more sustainable ones, a radical shift in incremental steps. Multi-level perspective considers the transition as a nonlinear process of change resulted from the interactions of social and technological factors at different levels. While most studies focused on historical transition reviews or future pathways and scenarios, this paper is a study of current system as the change process is performed. The paper aimed at identifying the main mobility regimes and dynamics of low carbon mobility transitions to see what are the current pathways and most probable pathways in the scope of 2030 targets. A comprehensive review of related literature combined with stakeholder interviews in a qualitative data analysis process to see what the driving and restraining forces of transition process are and which innovations has the greater potential to get aligned in future mobility regimes. The paper contributed to transition studies through combining multi stakeholder and MLP approach for detailed investigation of passenger urban mobility transition dynamics. The results can also help urban mobility planners to know the factors that can help or challenge them in planning for more sustainable transport systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Transition
  • Low carbon
  • Urban mobility
  • Dynamic
  • Pathway
  • Multi-level perspective

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