Driving change from Our Streets: Insights from a community initiative to reduce car use for short journeys

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


The role of grassroots actors in climate change mitigation is widely recognized, yet within studies of transport and mobility, less is known about how grassroots projects can influence peoples' local travel decisions. We contribute to filling this gap by exploring how protective spaces of grassroots movements can be nurtured to drive mitigation actions. We present a case study of Our Streets Chorlton (OSC) – a community-led initiative in South Manchester (UK), which aimed to co-create solutions for reducing car use for short journeys. With support from The National Lottery, OSC engaged in activities that allowed them to gather support and build a network of local people, and understand the factors that help shape the communities' travel decisions. Using a range of methods, including interviews and community surveys, we gained insights on how OSC's ‘bridging role’ contributes to increasing interest in making low carbon travel choices, and in overcoming their barriers to transforming travel such as transport infrastructure, convenience of car use relative to people's routine and different commitments (e.g., work, caring responsibilities). Our findings highlight the need to build and/or strengthen ‘bridges’ between communities and the regime (existing ways of doing travel) if community-based initiatives are to be successful.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Talks
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023


  • active travel
  • protective space
  • grassroots innovation
  • climate action


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