From Vision to Transition Exploring the Potential for Public Information Services to Facilitate Sustainable Urban Transport
Abstract: Background: Policy initiatives to promote sustainable travel through the use of Internet based public information systems have increased during the last decade. Stockholm, in being one of the first cities in Europe to implement an Internet based service for facilitating sustainable travel is believed to be a good candidate for an analysis of key issues for developing sustainable travel planning services to the public.Aim: This thesis investigates the past development of two Stockholm based public information systems and their services in order to draw lessons on how to better provide for a public information service geared towards facilitating environmentally sustainable travel planning through information and communications technology. The overall goal of the thesis is to contribute to an understanding on how to better design and manage current and future attempts at facilitating sustainable travel planning services based on historical case studies.Approach: The thesis draws ideas from the concept of organizational responsiveness – an organization’s ability to listen, understand and respond to demands put to it by its internal and external stakeholders – in order to depict how well or not the two public information systems and their owners have adapted to established norms and values of their surroundings.Results: Overall, the findings from the historical case studies suggest that organizations attempting to provide sustainable travel planning to the public need to design and manage their systems in such a way that it responds to shifting demands on how to provide for information. Implementing and embedding new technologies involves complex processes of change both at the micro level – for users and practitioners of the service – and at the meso level for the involved public service organizations themselves. This condition requires a contextualist framework to analyze and understand organizational, contextual and cultural issues involved in the adoption of new technologies and procedures.Conclusions: The thesis concludes with a discussion on how the findings from the historical case studies may provide lessons for both current and future attempts at providing public information systems geared towards facilitating environmentally sustainable travel planning to the public. Historical examples and issues concerning collective intelligence and peer to peer based forms of designing, producing and supervising public information services identified throughout the study are looked upon and discussed in terms of their possible role in increasing the potential for public information services to facilitate sustainable urban transport.
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