Three “low-carbon challenges” were held, in Tshwane and Johannesburg in 2015, and Cape Town during 2016. In each city, teams of racers traversed a route using non-motorised, public, paratransit or electric transport, in order to finish with the lowest carbon footprint. An objective of the challenges was to highlight the triggers and changes required for climate change mitigation in passenger transport. The implicit approach was experiential learning by participating public officials, business executives, students, and transport operators, both in organising and during the challenges (80 racers, 25 city officials, and 10 transport businesses). The “business unusual” and multi-faceted nature of the challenges sought to surface factors and dynamics that could add to cities’ own research and strategies for low-carbon mobility, or might trigger personal travel behaviour change. Organising the challenges revealed how existing arrangements facilitate (or not) low-carbon mobility; and doing the challenge offered participants better understanding of the city’s plans and challenges, exposure to others’ daily travel experiences, and experience of various available transport options. This paper presents qualitative responses on the impacts of these one-off events up to two years later on participants’ thinking, workplace practices or personal travel behaviour.
Papers presented at the 36th Southern African Transport Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa on 10-13 July 2017.