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Business models for residential mobility hubs

Research project In this 3-year project via the work packages with three qualitative case studies of housing projects we aim to answer the following questions: How are business models for mobility hubs collaboratively developed and implemented in new residential areas? Why is this done in these ways? And what are the effects of the implemented business models?

How to design cities where citizens do not need to own cars has become key for the planning of new residential areas in Sweden. Car reduction needs to be compensated by alternative mobility services. To make this cost-efficient and convenient, residential planners are increasingly planning mobility hubs, physical facilities that combine services for sustainable mobility.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2022-01-01 2024-12-31

Funding

999 437 SEK per year; Formas; Maria Bengtsson

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics

Research area

Business administration

Project description

Mobility hubs have complex business models, as they house a range of new services, involving multiple providers, demand behavioural changes and can be costly to build. Our intention in this project is to better explain opportunities and barriers with mobility hubs, so that policy makers, developers and entrepreneurs can anticipate and mitigate them, but also to point out how car reduction can be done in an inclusive way.

Car reduction has many benefits: less CO2 emissions and air pollution, less congestion, more available land and space for people. Nevertheless, until recently car reduction has been difficult for city planners and politicians to promote. For its success residents need access not just to public transport but also to mobility services, (e.g., vehicle sharing and mobility-as-a-service subscriptions (MaaS)) and less parking. Therefore residential planners are increasingly planning mobility hubs, physical facilities that combine car-reducing services, mobility services and sometimes traditional parking. Mobility hubs enable inter-modal travel, reduce car needs but also travel needs. By going beyond parking they challenge planning practices with its traditional roles meaning that interaction and coordination with developers, service providers and users are necessary for hubs to succeed.

Mobility hubs are complex: they house a range of new mobility services, involving multiple service providers, demand behavioral changes from residents, and can be costly to build. What services they are to contain, how their costs and revenues are to be shared, and who should own, manage and operate them, are questions that Swedish planners are increasingly grappling with. These are matters that pertain to mobility hubs’ business models, where business models refer to the activity systems that enable value creation and capture for involved stakeholders so that operations are sustained. For hubs to work, it is not merely a matter of planners deciding on business model design, as these business models need to be accepted by developers, service providers and not least residents. This points to an important collaborative dimension in the development and implementation of these business models.

Hence, in this project we examine business models for mobility hubs developed and implemented in new residential areas from the process and outcome perspectives.

Our cases:

Tomtebostrand

Vårvik

Norra Ön