COVID19 – mediating a transition to more sustainable transport
Research Project, 2020 – 2021

There are reports of decreased car use, as well as decreased use of public transport but at the same time increased cycling in cities due to the pandemic. The assumed reasons are a combination of unwillingness to use public transport due to the risks of being infected and the sunny spring weather. At the same time, cities have taken advantage of the reduced car traffic to close streets and convert these to cycle lanes and pedestrian streets. Some cities are experimenting, while others use the situation to speed up already decided bicycle strategies. Hence, COVID19 may have “interrupted our world, but it’s also likely to improve it”.
Research is underway to study how travel habits are affected by the pandemic and if people will further reflect on and maybe reassess established travel patterns. We are interested in researching the opportunities and challenges associated with thissituation, more in particular: if (everyday) cycling has indeed increased, (i) who are these new bicyclists, (ii) do they (who may be inexperienced, using old and/or poorly maintained bicycles) absorb and/or influence cyclist culture in any way (e.g. formal and informal rules, re speed etc.) and (iii) will those who have started cycling continue to do so when the situation changes? Can we learn something from the situation now that can be used later to increase everyday cycling?
The research approach will take into consideration the COVID19 situation and the restrictions that apply. At this moment in time, the plan is that information will be collected over time using a mixed methods approach, including netnography, in combination with cultural probes and personal interviews. Different social media will be used for recruitment of participants.


Helena Strömberg (contact)

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Pontus Wallgren

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors



Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2021

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Sustainable development

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