CAN A CITY’S MOBILITY CULTURE BE CHANGED? A case study of the ‘Circulatieplan’ and its effects in Gent, Belgium

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Increasing car-related traffic and its negative impacts on quality of life (e.g pollution, congestion, occupation of valuable space etc.) are ongoing trends. For decades, many municipalities have planned for motorized individual traffic and not for people and this basic paradigm has seldom been successfully challenged. This thesis will investigate the changes in local mobility culture due to policy change and its resulting spatial intervention. The main focus is on the question whether – and if so, how – a local mobility culture changes as a result of a specific spatial intervention. The case study for this research analyzes the intervention of the ‘Circulatieplan’ and its effects in the city of Gent in Belgium. This car-restrictive measure aims to promote more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, while at the same time restricting ‘through-traffic’ in the city center and its surrounding neighborhoods. The overall aim of this research is to analyze if the ‘Circulatieplan’ has impacts on Gent’s mobility culture. If yes, to what extent can changes be observed until now? And which changes might have been apparent beforehand, that made this policy change possible?
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen