This exploratory study examines the motivations of people who live “car-free” by choice in Brisbane, Australia. The Theory of Planned Behaviour is employed as a guiding framework for the analysis. Unlike the “car-less”, the “car-free” are physically and intellectually able to drive, and have sufficient income to purchase and maintain a car, yet they have chosen on shun automobility. In a low-density, sprawling, and car-oriented context like Brisbane’s, their choice is unusual, hence worth examining. Through in-depth interviews of 24 car-free people, we found that they have embraced car-free living in order to ‘go green’; pursue health and well-being; and achieve convenience and minimalism. Personal advantages have priority over collective interests. Participants share a belief that car ownership is simply unnecessary if one makes certain practical adjustments. A characteristic element that unites the car-free is their maverick outlook. All have been willing to defy a key societal norm, automobility, even as this involves some downsides. They believe that the advantages of a car-free life outweigh any drawbacks. It appears that a car-free lifestyle is an educated middle-class phenomenon. However, a larger survey may reveal specific demographic clusters among the car-free.
- Title: Living car-free by choice in a sprawling city: Desirable and … possible?
- Authors: Hayley Paijmans and Dorina Pojani
- Journal: Case Studies on Transport Policy
- Link to article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cstp.2021.04.001
Read UQ News coverage of the research: www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2021/04/brisbane%E2%80%99s-car-free-iconoclasts
The study has been featured on the Brisbane Times: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-study-maps-route-to-car-free-cities-of-the-future-20210427-p57mv5.html