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What is a sustainable everyday life?: Exploring and assessing the sustainability of everyday travel, sharing and ICT.
KTH, Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad (ABE), Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik, Strategiska hållbarhetsstudier.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-1688-7905
2018 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

In a world where the general trend is unsustainable consumption patterns, can sustainable everyday life be enabled? This thesis sought to expand the knowledge base for policies and measures for sustainability, based on the assumption that consumption can be viewed as the outcome of practices in which people engage in their day-to-day life. The thesis addressed the overall aim by examining the following questions: How can information and communication technology (ICT) practices contribute to sustainable everyday practices? How can sharing practices, ICT-based and other, contribute to sustainable everyday practices? and How can travel practices, ICT-based and other, contribute to sustainable everyday practices?

Empirical and conceptual studies revealed that ICT has become a fundamental and integral part of everyday practices and that digitalisation is a tangible material companion with implications for sustainability. ICT changes practices in ways that can be both positive and negative from a sustainability perspective. These second-order effects need to be addressed early when developing ICT solutions/services.

ICT has also contributed to development of the sharing economy, by making sharing easier and scalable. However, although some sharing practices can contribute to overall sustainability, others could display a high potential and risk, simultaneously. It is therefore important to identify and mitigate negative effects and exploit the full potential of sustainable sharing activities from a policy perspective.

Everyday travel is the outcome of people’s social practices. Travel practices are therefore ultimately interlocked with other practices and spatially and temporally structured. It can thus be quite difficult for city dwellers, although not impossible, to fit in new ways of carrying out everyday city travel rather than existing travel practices. New travel practices should be viewed as complementary if there are no other enabling factors at play, such as convenience, pricing, policies and/or infrastructural changes. If some form of policy and/or infrastructural change is introduced, it is possible to change travel patterns and ultimately reduce travel. Here too, ICT could enable changes in travel practices, e.g. through mediated meetings or vehicle sharing. However, for sustainable everyday travel to become widespread, urban planning issues are important. Policy documents and environmental targets can be used proactively to legitimise new policies that enable more sustainable travel practices.

This thesis shows that everyday practices, in a relatively affluent European urban context, contribute greatly to environmental impacts. Hence, how everyday practices are structured, or could be re-structured, is critical for sustainable development. Practices shape, and are shaped, by their socio-material context. This requires an overall, holistic approach, as offered by practice theory and actor-network theory. A holistic approach is crucial from a sustainability policy perspective, as it enables measures that target some, or all, of the different elements (material, meaning, skills) that constitute practice. It may also be crucial for policies addressing temporal and spatial aspects that structure practices, e.g. societal schedules and people’s homes in relation to their workplace. This presents an opportunity that policymakers could further explore and exploit.

Abstract [sv]

Hur kan ett hållbart vardagsliv möjliggöras när ohållbara konsumtionsmönster är den rådande trenden? Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling är att bidra till kunskapsbasen för åtgärder och policy inom hållbarhet utifrån från antagandet att konsumtion kan förstås som resultatet av de praktiker som människor utför i sitt dagliga liv. Avhandlingen tar sig an syftet genom att undersöka följande frågor; Hur kan Informations och kommunikationsteknik (IKT)-praktiker bidra till hållbara vardagspraktiker? Hur kan delandepraktiker, IKT-baserade och andra, bidra till hållbara vardagspraktiker? Hur kan resepraktiker, IKT-baserade och andra, bidra till hållbara vardagspraktiker?

Genom empiriska och konceptuella studier visar avhandlingen hur IKT har blivit en grundläggande och integrerad del av vardagliga praktiker, och att digitaliseringens konkreta materialitet har hållbarhetskonsekvenser. IKT förändrar vardagens praktiker på sätt som kan vara både positiva och negativa ur ett hållbarhetsperspektiv. De indirekta effekter (effekter av andra ordningen) som dessa nya IKT-praktiker potentiellt kan ha bör adresseras tidigt när nya IKT-lösningar och tjänster utvecklas.

IKT har också bidragit till utvecklingen och spridningen av den så kallade delningsekonomin genom att göra delning av produkter och tjänster enklare och mer skalbar. Även om vissa delningspraktiker skulle kunna bidra till hållbarhet, visar andra på en hög potential och hög risk samtidigt. Det är därför viktigt att identifiera och mildra negativa effekter och möjliggöra en hållbara delningsaktiviteter fulla potential från policyhåll.

Vardagens resor är resultatet av människors sociala praktiker. Resepraktiker är därför starkt sammankopplade med andra praktiker även i tid och rum. Det betyder att det kan vara ganska svårt, men inte omöjligt, för stadens invånare att genomföra dagliga stadsresor på nya sätt i förhållande till redan existerande resepraktiker. Nya reseformer bör ses som kompletterande om det inte finns några andra typer av faktorer som ytterligare möjliggör dem, som exempelvis bekvämlighet, prissättning, policy och/eller infrastrukturförändringar. Om det finns någon form av policy och/eller infrastrukturförändring, finns det möjlighet att ändra resmönster och slutligen minska resan. Även här kan IKT, i form av medierade möten eller fordonstjänster, bidra till förändringar i resepraktik. Men för att hållbara vardagliga resmönster ska bli vanligare, måste särskild hänsyn tas i relation till stadsplanering. Redan existerande policydokument och miljömål kan också användas på ett proaktivt sätt för att legitimera nya policyer som möjliggör mer hållbara reseformer.

Denna avhandling visar att vardagliga praktiker, i en relativt välbärgad europeisk urban kontext, bidrar till en stor del av miljöpåverkan. Hur vardagen är strukturerad, och hur den kan omstruktureras är därför av stor betydelse för en hållbar utveckling. Praktiker formar och formas av de samhälleliga sammanhang som de är situerade i och därför behövs ett övergripande, holistiskt perspektiv, som praktikteori och aktörs-nätverksteori (ANT) erbjuder. Detta perspektiv är särskilt nödvändigt från ett hållbarhetsperspektiv, eftersom det möjliggör åtgärder som riktar sig mot vissa, eller alla, av de olika elementen (material, betydelse, färdigheter) som utgör en praktik. Perspektivet kan också möjliggöra åtgärder och policy som riktar sig mot temporala och rumsliga aspekter som strukturerar praktiker, såsom övergripande samhälleliga scheman och hur och där människor bor i förhållande till sin arbetsplats. Detta är något för beslutsfattare att ytterligare undersöka och använda i framtida policyarbete.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. , s. 38
Serie
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 181
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Planering och beslutsanalys
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224759ISBN: 978-91-7729-709-3 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-224759DiVA, id: diva2:1192432
Disputation
2018-04-12, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Anmärkning

QC 20180322

Tillgänglig från: 2018-03-22 Skapad: 2018-03-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. ICT practices in smart sustainable cities: In the intersection of technological solutions and practices of everyday life
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>ICT practices in smart sustainable cities: In the intersection of technological solutions and practices of everyday life
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of EnviroInfo and ICT for Sustainability 2015: Building the knowledge base for environmental action and sustainability / [ed] Vivian Kvist Johannsen, Stefan Jensen, Volker Wohlgemuth, Chris Preist, Elina Eriksson, Copenhagen: Atlantis Press , 2015, s. 317-324Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

ICT, information and communications technology,has radically transformed our world and is now an inextricable partof what it means to live a normal life as a citizen, at least in highincomecountries. This has led to a situation where ICT has becomeso taken for granted that it has lost its visibility. While thisdevelopment to a large extent has been driven by businessopportunities, there is now also an increasing recognition of ICT as apossible solution to sustainability problems. There are however twomajor pitfalls of using ICT as a tool for sustainability that need to beaddressed for its potentials to be realized. The first pitfall isenvironmental impacts of ICT, as well as the risk of lock-in effectsand an increasing vulnerability. The second pitfall concerns theunderstanding of ICT as a neutral solution, rather than recognizingthat ICT, as all technology, carries implicit values. Taken together,these two pitfalls imply a need for replacing the atomized and technobiasedunderstandings of ICT with an approach that recognize thelarger socio-material, political and economic structure in which ICTis (thought to be) part. With the aim of contributing to such a shift,this paper proposes a practice-oriented perspective in order toexplore the potential of ICT to contribute to sustainability, using thesmart sustainable city discourse as our example. We define theconcept ICT practices and discuss it from an interdisciplinaryperspective and in relation to the sustainable smart city. We arguethat by using ICT practices as a conceptual starting-point foranalysis, both the technological and the socio-cultural components ofthe smart sustainable city discourse can become elicited, enabling amore explicit analysis of what assumptions this discourse rests on.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Copenhagen: Atlantis Press, 2015
Serie
ACSR: Advances in Computer Science Research, ISSN 2352-538x ; 22
Nyckelord
Social Practice Theory, ICT practices, Sustainability, Sustainable Smart Cities, HCI, Sustainable practices
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173604 (URN)10.2991/ict4s-env-15.2015.36 (DOI)000365044700036 ()978-94-62520-92-9 (ISBN)
Konferens
EnviroInfo & ICT4S
Forskningsfinansiär
VINNOVA
Anmärkning

QC 20150915

Tillgänglig från: 2015-09-15 Skapad: 2015-09-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Including second order effects in environmental assessments of ICT
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Including second order effects in environmental assessments of ICT
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Environmental Modelling & Software, ISSN 1364-8152, E-ISSN 1873-6726, Vol. 56, s. 105-115Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can have both negative and positive impacts on the environment. Immediate negative environmental impacts arise due to the production, use and disposal of ICT products, while positive effects can arise because ICT products and services replace other products. Other, more indirect consequences of introducing new technologies include e.g. that money saved by reducing costs due to ICT-induced energy efficiency, is being used in consumption of other goods and services that also need energy in their production. Such effects are examined within different disciplines under headings such as rebound effects, indirect effects, second order effects and ripple effects. This paper presents a review and discussion of different second order effects that can be linked to ICT usage in general, using e-commerce as an example. This is a first necessary step in developing methods which include second order effects when analysing the environmental impacts of ICT.

Nyckelord
ICT, Environment, Second order effects, Indirect effects, First order effects, Rebound effects, E-commerce
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143642 (URN)10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.02.005 (DOI)000337555500011 ()2-s2.0-84901489244 (Scopus ID)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vinnova
Anmärkning

QC 20140812

Tillgänglig från: 2014-03-26 Skapad: 2014-03-26 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Cargo Bike Pool: A way to facilitate a car-free life?
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Cargo Bike Pool: A way to facilitate a car-free life?
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Resilience – the new research frontier. Proceedings of the 20th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference (ISDRC 2014) Trondheim 18-20 June 2014, Trondheim, 2014, s. 273-280Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

In planning for sustainable cities, there is a need to take into consideration alternative transportation modes and facilitate the use of these, for the types of trips that people tend to use cars for. One way to mitigate car dependency in everyday life could be by using a cargo bike for these types of trips.The purpose of this paper is to map in what ways a specific trial of providing access to a cargo bike pool in a housing association affected both people’s travel habits and how they reimagined the types of trips that could be done at all or done in another way in order to find car-free travel and transportation modes. In this paper we focussed on the residents who actually used the cargo bikes.This qualitative study shows that although many of the residents did indeed lead car-free everyday lives, they got the opportunity to do other types of trips that they had not even thought about beforehand or deemed too difficult to do without a car. The cargo bike proved to fit into the portfolio of sustainable travel modes that facilitate everyday transports. The way that trips are imagined has also changed, that is what a cargo bike can be used to in relation to car, regular bike and public transportation.Having access to a cargo bike through a vehicle pool means that the possibilities to live a car-free everyday life are facilitated and in the long run a sustainable transportation pattern is being put in place.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Trondheim: , 2014
Nyckelord
cargo bike pool, mobility solution, behaviour change, sustainable transportation
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap Socialantropologi
Forskningsämne
Planering och beslutsanalys
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172043 (URN)978-82-91917-34-4 (ISBN)
Konferens
20th International Sustainable Development Research Conference Trondheim 18-20 June 2014
Forskningsfinansiär
VINNOVA
Anmärkning

QC 20150817

Tillgänglig från: 2015-08-11 Skapad: 2015-08-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
4. Meetings, practice and beyond: Environmental sustainability in meeting practices at work
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Meetings, practice and beyond: Environmental sustainability in meeting practices at work
2013 (Engelska)Ingår i: Nachhaltigkeit in der Wirtschaftskommunikation / [ed] Martin Nielsen, Iris Rittenhofer, Marianne Grove Ditlevsen, Sophie Esmann Andersen, Irene Pollach, Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden , 2013, s. 159-190Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

The study shows how the employees at a large transnational telecom company understand and accommodate the implemented travel and meeting policies that regulate business communication. This involves looking at employee decisions on when, how and why to hold meetings. The subsequent understandings of meetings and their practice is formed through negotiation and the formation of a ‘social matrix of workplace communication (meetings)’(Bateson & Reusch 2009). This social matrix and its contexts are analysed from the perspective of environmental sustainability of office work practice. The basis for this is the recent implementation of company-wide restrictions on travel aiming to encourage the use of mediated meetings instead of travel for face-to-face meetings. Some issues that emerge are shared meanings of meetings, more specifically the perceived importance of the physical meeting in a workplace where telephone meetings were the norm. This shows that even if the technological possibilities for mediated meetings and by extension a more flexible work practice exist, they are not regarded as default but seen as complementary to conventional work practices. The need to find a balance in between mediated and physical meetings comes across as a recurring theme in both interviews and policy documents.  As a result the ongoing negotiation of which meetings are deemed necessary to be held in person and thereby requiring travel, is embedded within TeliaSonera employees' notions that face-to-face meetings are better and more efficient than mediated meetings. Subsequently the collective view that mediated meetings are not as successful as face-to-face meetings becomes a central to the character of workplace communication. This negotiation is carried out on an individual level as well as on a more organisational level. When carried out on an organisational level these negotiations occur in policy documents which can sometimes contradict employee perspectives and are equally subject to contextual factors (cf. Kogg 2002). Other related issues present in the empirical data are the blurring of the divide between work and home in relation to the changes in work practices and information and communication technology (ICT).

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2013
Serie
Europäische Kulturen in der Wirtschaftskommunikation ; 24
Nyckelord
environmental sustainability, ICT, (social) practice, work-related travel, mediated meeting, sustainable communication
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialantropologi Miljöledning Kommunikationsvetenskap Arbetslivsstudier Mänsklig interaktion med IKT
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129041 (URN)10.1007/978-3-658-03452-8_8 (DOI)978-3-658-03451-1 (ISBN)978-3-658-03452-8 (ISBN)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vinnova
Anmärkning

QC 20131017

Tillgänglig från: 2013-09-18 Skapad: 2013-09-18 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
5. Why share?: An outline of a policy framework for sharing.
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Why share?: An outline of a policy framework for sharing.
Visa övriga...
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

 The sharing economy has received much attention in recent years, partly because it carries a promise of reducing environmental impacts. This decrease is expected to take place through higher utilization of raw materials and energy when physical products are shared to a greater extent . However, our reading of current literature on sharing suggests that such environmental impacts have rarely been assessed at the societal level, e.g. nationally or along a supply chain. Neither are definitions and classifications of sharing found in literature, in general, particularly helpful for estimating environmental potentials and risks. We argue that there is a need for a framework supporting policy to clarify the importance of policy when it comes to the final effects of sharing.

The aim of this paper is to outline a policy framework for environmental potentials and risks of the sharing economy. We have here delimited this paper to discuss levels of energy use as an example of environmental impact, but argue that the tentative policy framework presented can be used for any sustainability factor. In the paper we populate the policy framework with a spectrum of sharing initiatives and discuss the possible changes in energy use connected to these initiatives. Furthermore, we also discuss in what areas research on the environmental impacts of sharing initiatives could be specifically important, based on the outcome of populating the policy framework for potentials and risks.

Nyckelord
sharing economy, collaborative consumption, sustainable consumption, environmental impact, energy use, policy framework
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224757 (URN)
Anmärkning

QC 20180322

Tillgänglig från: 2018-03-22 Skapad: 2018-03-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad
6. A passage to carsharing: The case of implementing a municipal carsharing scheme
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>A passage to carsharing: The case of implementing a municipal carsharing scheme
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Carsharing is a transportation mode that has existed for a long time but that has been rapidly growing the last decades, mainly due to the ongoing digitisation of society. Carsharing has qualities that places it within the intersection of sustainable mobility and the sharing economy. Carsharing is therefore often proposed in policies and planning documents as a measure to facilitate sustainable mobility. But what does the transition from theoretical solution to actual implemented service, accessible to users actually look like?

This paper presents the findings of qualitative study that describes and analyses the case of Täby, a Swedish municipality in the Stockholm region, that decided to address its set sustainability targets and business travel practices by procuring a carsharing service and installing an in-house bicycle pool for officials. The study, that draws findings from document studies and semi-structured interviews, applies an actor-network theory inspired approach. The analysis of the process, show how the involved actors, both human and non-human, together drove the process forward, and eventually led to the implementation of a carsharing scheme for the officials.

The paper concludes that carsharing as a program of action, was translated from an in-house carsharing open to citizens, to a procured service for the officials, and that the move to new premises acted as obligatory passage point for this process. The paper also concludes that during the process, the program of action was associated with policy documents such as the environmental goals and the Climate and Energy Strategy who served in a legitimising way and thus helped to fend of anti-programs such as cost efficiency, which otherwise was a prevalent managerial and operational strategy. 

Nyckelord
carsharing, business travel, municipal policy, implementation process, sustainability, environmental targets
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224758 (URN)
Anmärkning

QC 20180322

Tillgänglig från: 2018-03-22 Skapad: 2018-03-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-03-22Bibliografiskt granskad

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