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Abstract

Broadly speaking, one of the most important aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations is to increase awareness of people for sustainability related issues namely economic, environmental and social problems. In this direction, it can be concluded that there is a lack of awareness for individuals regarding their habits and their related impacts on sustainability. Especially in developed countries, it is well-known that people are linked to over consumption, overweight, over waste, over pollution and so on. However, most of them are not aware of the results which are caused from their daily activities in terms of pollution, waste, energy footprints and their related effects on global sustainability. Mobility is one such area resulting in that kind of problems especially in urban areas. Our current road-based transportation system which is mainly dependent on automobile use causes a wide range of formidable problems. These include traffic congestion, air pollution, noise, accidents and related fatalities, depletion of non-renewable resources and inaccessibility of amenities and services. To illustrate this, more than one-quarter of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector and light vehicles are responsible for 59% of transportation energy use (see Fig. 1). Due to the accidents on roads, approximately one million people dies except the millions of injuries (WHO, 2010). In addition to that, there are many cities suffering from traffic congestion which slows down daily businesses, causes unreliability in terms of time, results in unpleasant life in urban life and costs billions of dollars to the economies (Everyday Money, 2014; TomTom, 2013). These are just few figures to illustrate detrimental effects of transportation especially due to automobile use in urban areas. Transport demand, however, increases as economic growth increases (EU Energy, 2012) which will make the situation even worse in the upcoming years. Therefore, there are various dimensions of transport system which can be group into three categories: economic, environmental, and social (see Table 1). Given these problems, and their associated economic, environmental, and social impacts, the current transportation system especially in urban areas may be considered as unsustainable from various respects. To counter this challenge of moving towards sustainable transportation, much more effort is needed.

According to World Business Council on Sustainable Development (2004), sustainable mobility is defined as ‘the ability to meet the needs of society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade, and establish relationships without sacrificing other essential human or ecological values today or in the future’. To this end, there are certain areas to focus on to mitigate transport related problems and make a transition towards sustainable transport (C2ES, 2012). Firstly, on the fuels side, transitioning to low-carbon energy sources such as biofuels or electricity from renewable resources to directly reduce emissions from fuel consumption is required. Secondly, more efficient transportation equipment is needed to run on these low-carbon fuel sources. Thirdly, increasing the efficiency of existing transportation system is needed such as applying advanced traffic monitoring and signaling. Lastly, switching from unsustainable modes (mostly personal car usage) to alternative (or sustainable) travel modes such as public transportation, walking and cycling is needed to reduce the demand for the use of more energy intensive by changing land use patterns, increasing and promoting sustainable travel options while dis-incentivizing the use of unsustainable modes. After all, it can be said that a “new mobility” is needed which is a vision of the cities in which resident no longer excessively rely on their cars but on public transportation, shared cars, bikes or walking. Therefore, there will be less pollution, less noise, less stress at the end; cities will be more livable environments.

In this direction, we are working on a mobile application project which will be capable of tracking individuals’ daily mobility activities; walking, bicycling, and driving. According to these mobility activities, the application will present the sustainability level of each individual in a sustainability scale and its related impacts on his\her health and the environment. By doing that, we aim to increase awareness of individuals for their current actions and encourage them to change their related behaviors into more sustainable ways by using different incentive and awareness tools. The application will prepare individualized packages to show people their mobility footprint with its effects on their life and on the environment and suggest other sustainable mobility ways.

Our main target group will be mostly educated people from younger and middle age groups, rich-enough to having a smart-phone, and most importantly having unsustainable mobility activities. After successfully completion of the application, as a pilot area, Education City would be a perfect place to conduct pilot experiments where members of the community are suitable to our potential customer portfolio then it can spread all over the world through Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. By doing that, we need to tailor incentive and awareness tools towards culture and expectations of the community. In this sense, we are going to present our findings from initial phases we have conducted so far in this developing process which includes; (1) literature review, (2) market assessments via various interviews with different stakeholders and survey questionnaire with people from potential target groups to figure out their perceptions and needs regarding this behavioral change for mobility, (3) analysis of requirements based on the results from previous phase and (4) concept design which includes flow diagrams, database schema and sketching user interfaces etc. In addition to these, we will utilize Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in our concept design to transform business requirements and specs of GMAP into it. Comparison of the competitive mobile applications will be able to seen in QFD as well. GMAP intends to raise public awareness on the impacts of their behaviors, to make them healthier, to reduce carbon emissions a little by walking much more and to build a green social network who shares the same thoughts on sustainability. In short, we believe our application (when being turned into reality) will contribute orienting people into the new sustainable lifestyles or it will pave the way at least.

References

C2ES. (2012). Transportation Overview | Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://www.c2es.org/energy/use/transportation

EU Energy. (2012). Transport in Figures, Statistical Pocketbook 2012, European Commission.

Everyday Money. (2014). No Title. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://time.com/money/3511481/traffic-jams-cost-americans-124-billion-time-money/

Rahman, A., & Grol, R. van. (2005). SUMMA final publishable report v. 2.0; July 2005. Available Online on Http://www. Summa-Eu.Org/control/

TomTom. (2013). TomTom Congestion Index -. Retrieved from http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/congestionindex/

WHO. (2010). Number of road traffic deaths. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://www.who.int/gho/road_safety/mortality/traffic_deaths_number/en/

World Business Council on Sustainable Development. (2004). Mobility 2030: Meeting the Challenges to Sustainability.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2016.EESP3063
2016-03-21
2019-11-15
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