The SEGMENT project developed campaigns for people with 'life change moments' - as in such circumstances, people are more apt to reconfigure their travel behaviour. The ‘New Parents’ campaign did exactly this - it cooperated with health centres to motivate parents with newborns to travel on foot.
Background & Objectives
The ‘New Parents’ campaign is a part of the SEGMENT project, which aims to change travel behaviour of people undergoing ‘life change moments’. As having a new baby is such a life change moment, this campaign addresses parents of newborns.
The objectives were to make these parents feel positive about walking and to show that walking is healthy for their families as well as providing freedom and flexibility and, as a result, to persuade parents to walk with their children to the health centre instead of driving by car.
Another objective was to achieve cooperation with health centres, which was an entirely new experience for the road administration.
Ambitious specific objectives were:
- 20% of new parents covered by the campaign will walk 50% of journeys with their newborns
- 10% of modal shift will go from 'by car' to 'by foot'
- 150 kms/year/person decrease of distance driven by car in the target group (average 2.5km/day*60days)
- 3165 kms/year decrease of distance driven by car in the target group (211parents*150*10%)
As a part of the project City of Gdynia undertook a survey of new parents’ travel behaviour, especially when travelling to the health centre, and their attitudes to different modes of transport. The results allowed to designate groups of parents with similar mobility behaviours, of which three were chosen by Gdynia as target groups: status seekers (30%), conscious car addicts (11%), sceptical intenders (7%). Their common characteristics are: they have no tight schedule, are against public transport, consider car as a symbol of success and as the fastest and safest mode, but feel that walking is healthier and consider it as an option. When choosing the segments it was important to have a sufficient sample of data in each group and to select the segments reasonably- the campaign had to be directed at people who are willing to change a car for walking.
Determining common characteristics of the segments allowed that creation of a campaign that was directed specifically at parents from these target groups. The aim of the campaign was to make these parents feel positive about walking and to show that walking is healthy for their families as well as providing freedom and flexibility and as a result to persuade parents to walk with their children to the health centre.
The campaign was implemented in five health centres in Gdynia and two measures were applied:
A. Providing a magazine for new parents to read in health centres.
This 30 page magazine include articles such as: “Active mom is a healthy mom”, “Public space in a city” or “Life without a car”. The articles show i.e.: how walking affects mum’s and baby’s health, how driving with a child by car for short distances (i.e. to the health centre) can be easily replaced by walking with a pram, that this is easier, faster, healthier and allows parents to spend more time with their child.
B. A poster campaign.
The posters represent a slim, stylish woman walking with her child in a pram. A slogan on the poster says “Forget about a car, walking is trendy”. The aim of this was to convince women to walk more with their children by showing them that they may look trendy and successful while walking with a pram, that walking is the way to keep fit and show off in the new role of “mum”.
The campaign was carried out for a small target group of new parents and only two measures were applied. Travel behaviour impacts were therefore relatively low. It was difficult at the start of the campaign to gain cooperation as the health centres were not really enthusiastic about the survey and campaign implementation in their institutions. However, 7 health centres could be convinced and in the end it was a fruitful cooperation exercise and shows the potential for more in the future.
- For the before/after comparison, walking increased by 15%, while car driving decreased by 14%. This would be a very successful results leading to an annual reduction of 11 tons of CO2-emissions.
- The survey used a control group, but the results were such that they could not really be used for comparison as samples were probably too small. It can be assumed that the before/after survey reflects the real situation. As in several other SEGMENT projects, the usage of the control group method for evalution showed some problems.
- for more details, follow this link to the MaxEva database.
- the parents were suprised. because in health centres they usually only have the opportunity to read pharmaceutical leaflets
- they showed great interest in the magazine provided within the framework of the action and referred very positively to its content.
- it is desirable to perform the taken measures among more parents in the health centres
- it would also be worth applying some other measures in this target group
- cooperation with institutions not directly related to traffic can be very fruitful