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Gender-aligned sustainable urban mobility: A mixed methods approach
Not just that there are different travel patterns in the day-to day life, but also do differences in socialization have a high impact on mode choice. Previous literature shows a higher affinity to local public transportation and sustainability for women. Men, on the other hand, show a higher affinity towards cars, technology and innovation. However, sex and gender factors are still rarely considered when planning innovative and sustainable transportation systems. Especially in the field of transportation, there is a biased perspective of men planning for men. Women are significantly underrepresented, although, they could provide a different and valuable perspective. Transportation, though, affects nearly every person almost every day. A gender-sensitive perspective, therefore, is necessary for increasing the possibility of using sustainable modes of transportation and, therefore, improving the quality of live in larger cities. This ongoing research project is composed of several steps with different methods: As a first step, a sample of 492 carsharing subscribers from Berlin is analysed according to socio-demographic and -economic backgrounds, mode choice, use and evaluation of (e-) carsharing services. Additionally, attitudinal indices and clusters based on mobility related attitudes are analysed to reveal significant differences between women and men. The ongoing second part of the research contains the analysis of a representative sample containing 2400 respondents from major cities in Germany. The effect of socio-demographic factors and relevant attitudes on the mode choice and the preferences for e-carsharing services will be modelled according to gender differences. Particularly the relation between the affinity towards local public transportation and towards cars is going to be examined. The last part brings together the results of the previous steps and provides measurements to addressing the different requirements and preferences to support sustainable urban transportation. As a third step, GIS-data will be combined with qualitative interviews of ten women from Berlin with a focus on the use of different means of transport to identify specific needs for transport of women in urban areas. Generally, the results of the first research part confirm socio-demographic and -economic findings from previous literature about women and men in general and about early adopters of e-carsharing. The majority of latter with 85 % is male. Comparing female and male early adopters, revealed differences in income, employment status and age. Females used battery electric vehicles more often than vehicles with an internal combustion engine and evaluate handling BEVs more positively. They show a higher bike affinity and lower affinities towards technology and innovation than male respondents. Women combine public transportation and bicycling with the use of (e-)carsharing services as an additional part of urban mobility. Children do not seem to have an impact of the respective topics, although the findings suggest that services are not actually used with children. Preliminary results of the second part support these results and indicate significant differences between attitudes towards innovative and sustainable mobility. This research improves the understanding of sustainable urban transportation requirements and preference with respect to gender differences. The planning of carsharing schemes with battery electric vehicles needs to focus on specific gender-based requirements of each trip (e.g. transporting or accompanying children or running errands) in order to make sustainable urban mobility an option for others than one ‘typical early adopter’. Only then, it will be possible to improve the quality of living in urban areas by reducing urban space scarcity, local and global emissions and noise exposure.