Implementing Local Cycling Policies - Barriers and Success Factors in Gothenburg
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Gothenburg is growing. There is a need to ensure that the transportation system functions. The city has ambitions of promoting cycling and other sustainable modes of transport. Two goals have been set for cycling. The number of cyclists should increase by three times and 75% of the people in Gothenburg should think that the city is a cycling friendly city by 2025. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how cycling policies are implemented in Gothenburg. A theoretical framework of two orientations of implementation theory is used. The implementation theories are named top-down and bottom-up. Opportunities and barriers for successful policy implementation have been investigated. They are based on the city’s strategic documents and interviews performed with politicians, officials and managers working for the municipality, and a cycling activist from a cycling interest group. Using a top-down lens, strategic documents have been analysed as a way of understanding how policies are supposed to be implemented. Thematic areas have been identified from the interviews and analysed in relation to the strategic documents. This method has allowed the combination of the two orientations of implementation theory. The results show that the implementation process for cycling measures is mainly run by individual actors. Cycling is not integrated in the strategic city planning. Difficulties seem to arise when urban space is to be reallocated from the car to the bicycle. The goal of the city is to increase all of the sustainable modes of transport, i.e. walking, cycling, and public transportation. Local individual actors focus on different transport modes, which invites for conflicts when prioritizations are to be made. Moreover, common strategies and visions for cycling are lacking between actors within the municipality. They are also lacking between municipal and non-municipal actors. The analysis show that the implementation process is guided by the city’s strategic documents containing goals, measures, strategies, and principles. This can be regarded as a top-down structure. Moreover, laws and regulations, existing knowledge, support of interest groups and sovereigns, is further part of the top-down base. Bottom-up tendencies identified are projectspecific solutions. They are produced based on the level of interest and knowledge of planners. An existing cycling group and individual officials gather inspiration and knowledge from other cities and share knowledge. They do so both internally at the Urban Transport Administration and externally, in cycling networks. Furthermore, officials are experimenting with new measures, in order to change existing regulations. The implementation process is continuously developed by following-up and evaluating implemented measures. Several conclusions can be drawn. There is a need to find common visions for all involved actors. In early processes, cycling should be part of the strategic city planning, rather than being dependent on individual actors. A continuous political will is necessary locally and nationally to ensure that cycling is taken seriously. Moreover, the implementation process needs to continue to be dynamic in order to find new, innovative measures.
Transport , Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi , Transport , Other industrial engineering and economics