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Kimberly Nicholas

Kimberly Nicholas

Senior Lecturer, Docent

Kimberly Nicholas

A dozen effective interventions to reduce car use in European cities : Lessons learned from a meta-analysis and transition management


  • Paula Kuss
  • Kimberly A. Nicholas

Summary, in English

Transitioning to fossil-free transport and reducing car use are necessary to meet European and national climate goals. Cities are promising leverage points to facilitate system transitions by promoting local innovation and policy experimentation. Building on transition management, we developed a knowledge base for the implementation of transition experiments to reduce city-level car use. From screening nearly 800 peer-reviewed studies and case studies, including in-depth analysis of 24 documents that met quality criteria and quantitatively estimated car use reduction, we identify 12 intervention types combining different measures and policy instruments that were effective in reducing car use in European cities. The most effective at reducing overall car use were the Congestion Charge, Parking & Traffic Congrol, and Limited Traffic Zone. Most interventions were led by local government, planned and decided in collaboration with different urban stakeholders. We evaluated the potential of the identified intervention types to be implemented in a pilot study of Lund, Sweden, using three criteria from Transition Management of novelty, feasibility, and suitability, as assessed by interviews with local experts. We recommend three transition experiments to reduce local car use in Lund: Parking and Traffic Control, Workplace Parking Charge, and Mobility Services for Commuters. We suggest practitioners follow our method to identify effective and locally suitable interventions to reduce car use, and future research quantify the effectiveness of interventions to reduce car use using the standardised outcome measure of daily passenger kilometres travelled by car.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year







Case Studies on Transport Policy





Document type

Journal article




  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Car use reduction
  • Climate mitigation
  • Transport intervention
  • Transport transition
  • Urban mobility
  • Urban transition experiments




  • ISSN: 2213-624X