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Eléments pour la prise en compte de l’habitude dans les pratiques de déplacements urbains : Le cas des résistances aux injonctions au changement de mode de déplacement sur l’agglomération lyonnaise

Abstract : Since the 80’s the majority of French cities developed transport policies aiming at reducing car use. This involves the development of specific urban transport policies following various formulas (such as modal-shift, intermodal or multimodal policies) and various constraint levels on car use (incentive or restrictive policies). Several communicational and informational plans emerged since the 2000’s and support these policies in order to enable a change in urban transport practices. Local authorities’ injunctions to modal change take two principal shapes that are rather implicit or explicit. Implicit injunctions to modal change indicate a first hypothesis on the car-user developed by local authorities in charge of transportation planning and policies. This first hypothesis assumes a car-user in search of the “optimal” mode, and stipulates as a consequence a modification of urban environments in favor of “alternative modes” to make him change. Regarding explicit injunctions, a second hypothesis is assumed on the car-user, who is defined as an actor following an axiological rationality. As a consequence, communication campaigns on values and virtues of “alternative modes” are stipulated to achieve consent to change in the case of daily-life transport. In Lyon as elsewhere, these policies failed to meet with the expected success. The support to these plans and policies is not massive so that we observe strong resistances to injunctions to change. These resistances are not surprising in the case of low density spaces and are in line with the literature. However the resistances to modal change observed for the case of Lyon take place as well in central areas, accurately connected to public transportation services with high population density. We conclude that hypotheses of instrumental and axiological rationalities are limited in explaining the “reasons” of car use. Mainstream research literature on urban transport doesn’t go further than these two hypotheses. To contribute to this reflection we assume the hypothesis that habit - as a concept – can be mobilized to go beyond fruitless dualisms such as “individual vs. structure” or “choice vs. determinism” and enable the development of a rather phenomenological interpretation of transport behaviours. In order to identify the shapes and roles of habit in urban transport behaviours, we developed a two-step original method including the collection of comments recorded by car-drivers and a questionnaire. The latter enabled us to distinguish two sub-groups as regards to the strength of their automobile habit. As a major result we will show that automobile habit follows three dimensions, namely mental, temporal and spatial, and enable an explanation of user’s resistance to injunctions to modal change. In line with these results we will conclude with a critical reconsideration of transport policies based on injunctions to change, and with new operational and theoretical perspectives.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 19, 2012 - 4:57:32 PM
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Thomas Buhler. Eléments pour la prise en compte de l’habitude dans les pratiques de déplacements urbains : Le cas des résistances aux injonctions au changement de mode de déplacement sur l’agglomération lyonnaise. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. INSA de Lyon, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ISAL0087⟩. ⟨tel-00743702⟩

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