Exploring how politicians reflect on counteracting measures: the case of the Trondheim package
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionApplied Mobilities. 2018. 10.1080/23800127.2018.1427822
Transitioning towards a low-emission society is a goal of numerous international and national political and administrative levels. This includes reducing impacts of road transport. While aiming for a transition towards more sustainable mobility, it is particularly striking that road capacity expansion is presently under planning or implementation in most main cities in Norway. Against this backdrop, we decided to study Trondheim’s Environmental Transport Package because this has a strong environmental profile with main objectives of reducing CO2 emissions and limiting car traffic, while at the same time increasing road capacity. Our exploration of how political decision-makers reflect on including road capacity expansion in a plan aimed at reducing traffic volume is only a first step towards finding out how an apparent disconnect between stated objectives and policy measures is reconciled. This might provide opportunities for better understanding and influencing politicians’ framing and actions early on, before measures are included that counteract the transition towards more sustainable mobility. We believe our explorative study reveals how motivated political decision-makers reason when faced with conflicting goals and contradictions, and, may contribute to a better understanding of what hinders transition in similar processes in other cities in Norway and abroad.