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The Other Side of the (Policy) Coin: Analyzing Exnovation Policies for the Urban Mobility Transition in Eight Cities around the Globe

Graaf, Lisa; Werland, Stefan; Lah, Oliver; Martin, Emilie; Mejia, Alvin; Muñoz Barriga, María Rosa; Nguyen, Hien Thi Thu; Teko, Edmund; Shrestha, Shritu

Many cities all over the world highlight the need to transform their urban mobility systems into more sustainable ones, to confront pressing issues such as air and noise pollution, and to deliver on climate change mitigation action. While the support of innovations is high on the agenda of both national and local authorities, consciously phasing-out unsustainable technologies and practices is often neglected. However, this other side of the policy coin, ‘exnovation’, is a crucial element for the mobility transition. We developed a framework to facilitate a more comprehensive assessment of urban mobility transition policies, systematically integrating exnovation policies. It links exnovation functions as identified in transition studies with insights from urban mobility studies and empirical findings from eight city case studies around the world. The findings suggest that most cities use some kinds of exnovation policies to address selective urban mobility issues, e.g., phasing-out diesel buses, restricting the use of polluting motor vehicles in some parts of the city, etc. Still, we found no evidence for a systematic exnovation approach alongside the innovation policies. Our framework specifies exnovation functions for the urban mobility transition by lining out policy levers and concrete measure examples. We hope that the framework inspires future in-depth research, but also political action to advance the urban mobility transition.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su13169045, MDPI