An Analysis of “Sustainable Mobility” Research: From a Planning Perspective


  • Gonca Nurgul Akgul Yildiz Technical University



mobility, sustainability, climate change, ecological planning, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, sustainable lifestyles


Factors such as housing, mobility, and recreation all cause environmental pressures. Lifestyles and consumption patterns play an important role here. When examining energy use rates, transportation is a key area. As one of the pillars of sustainable development, urban mobility is at the center of climate change debates, crucial to meeting targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and for quality of life. This paper aims to understand how this issue is handled within the academic literature and to reveal the research areas and geographies which deal with this issue. A combination set of keywords has been used as the basis for the literature review. The methodology applied is based on the Web of Science database, referencing the most recognized and trustworthy indices in academic areas such as the Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index. The study focuses on (a) research area, (b) publication year, (c) geography of study, and (d) citation count in order to analyze the current situation of mobility research in the academic literature. The results are centered on the research fields of environmental science and technology, transportation, business economics, engineering and geography. Considering the significant role of urban planning and public administration on environmental implications of mobility, these research areas make up a small proportion of available research as a result of our literature review within these intersected keywords and it should be noted that individual consumption habits have great emphasis on twenty-first century’s dominated debates.

Author Biography

Gonca Nurgul Akgul, Yildiz Technical University

Graduated from Yildiz Technical University, department of City and Regional Planning. 

Currently graduate student at Yildiz Technical University, programme of Urban Conservation and Planning 

Working on a EU project called "Community data loops for energy efficient urban lifestyles" at Yildiz Technical University, department of City and Regional Planning




Arsenio, E., Martens, K., & Ciommo, F. (2016). Sustainable urban mobility plans: Bridging climate change and equity targets? Research in Transportation Economics, 55, 30–39.

Axsen, J., Hageman, J. T., & Lentz, A. (2012). Lifestyle practices and pro-environmental technology. Ecological Economics, 82, 64–74.

Backhaus, J., Breukers, S., Mont, O., Paukovic, M., & Mourik, R. (2012). Sustainable lifestyles: Today’s facts & tomorrow’s trends. Wuppertal, Germany: Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

Bakker, S., Zuidgeest, M., Coninck, H., & Huizenga, C. (2014). Transport, development and climate change mitigation: Towards an integrated approach. Transport Reviews, 34(3), 335–355.

Barr, S., Shaw, G., Coles, T., & Prillwitz, J. (2010). A holiday is a holiday: Practicing sustainability, home and away. Transport Geography, 18(3), 474–481.

Barr, S., Gilg, A., & Shaw, G. (2011). “Helping people make better choices”: Exploring the behavior change agenda for environmental sustainability. Apply Geography, 31(2), 712–720.

Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. New York, NY: First Mariner Books.

Chang, W. R., Hwang, J. J., & Wu, W. (2017). Environmental impact and sustainability study on biofuels for transportation applications. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 67, 277–288.

Cheng, Y. H., Chang, Y. H., & Lu, I. J. (2015). Urban transportation energy and carbon dioxide emission reduction strategies. Applied Energy, 157, 953–973.

Dennis, K., Colburn, K., & Lazar, J. (2016). Environmentally beneficial electrification: The dawn of emissions efficiency. The Electricity Journal, 29, 52–58.

European Environment Agency (EEA). (2015a). Living in a changing climate, Copenhagen, Denmark, ISBN: 978-92-9213-656-7.

European Environment Agency (EEA). (2015b). The European environment- state and outlook, (Synthesis report). Copenhagen, Denmark, ISBN: 978-92-9213-515-7.

European Environment Agency. (2016). Signals 2016: Towards clean and smart mobility, Copenhagen, Denmark, ISBN: 978-92-9213-739-7.

Cherfils I., Gandil P., Hupe J., Adolehoume A., Ziegler U., Lunter M., Delbeke J., Steele P., Viegas J., Micallef S., Kumar N., Bylinsky M. Johnson T. (2016). Tackling climate change; Aviation’s contribution to the global efforts, European Civil Aviation Conference Magazine., Vol. 59.

Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Stanford university press. Stanford:USA

Herring, H. (2006). Energy efficiency: A critical view. Energy, 31, 10–20.

Higham, J., Cohen, S. A., Cavaliere, C. T., Reis, A., & Finkler, W. (2016). Climate change, tourist air travel and radical emissions reduction. Cleaner Production, 111, 336–347.

Birol F., Cozzi L., Gould T., Bromhead A., Baroni M., Olejarnik P., Dorner D., Gül T., Frank M., Al-Khshali S., Al-Maliky M., Al-Saffar A., Agarwal P., Besson C., Blasi A., Chan V.S., Cronshaw I., Elis D., Festa C., Kesicki F., Khara S., Kraeusel J., Kim S., Lee J.W., Lyro B., Marricchi C., Schers J., Topalgoekceli T., Wanner B., Wilkinson D., Wood P., Yanagisawa A., Mooney S., Sanocka M. (2012). World energy outlook 2012. International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, France.

Birol F., Cozzi L., Gould T., Bromhead A., Besson C., Dorner D., Olejarnik P., Gül T., Al-Saffar A., Blasi A., Cronshaw I., Festa C., Frank M., Ikeyama S., Jurga B., Kesicki F., Kim S., Kurniadi C., Kurozumi A., Lee J.W., Magne B., Marricchi C., Petrosyan K., Schaber K., Selmet N., Suehiro S., Topalgoekceli T., Trüby J., Noort K.V., Wanner B., Wilkinson D., Zhang S., Mooney S., Sanocka M., Cleere M. (2013). World energy outlook 2013. International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, France.

Campbell N., Ryan L., Rozite V., Lees E., Heffner G.. (2014). Capturing the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, France.

Kitamura, R. (2009). Life-style and travel demand. Transportation, 36(6), 679–710.

Köhler, J., Whitmarsh, L., Nykvist, B., Schilperoord, M., Bergman, N., & Haxeltine, A. (2009). A transitions model for sustainable mobility. Ecological Economics, 68, 2985–2995.

Krausmann, F., Gingrich, S., Eisenmenger, N., Erb, K. H., Haberl, H., & Fischer-Kowalski, M. (2009). Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century. Ecological Economics, 68, 2696–2705.

Lohrey, S., & Creutzig, F. (2016). A sustainability window of urban form. Transportation Research, Part D, 45, 96–111.

Meng, F., Liu, G., Yang, Z., Casazza, M., Cui, S., & Ulgiati, S. (2017). Energy efficiency of urban transportation system in Xiamen, China: An integrated approach. Applied Energy, 186, 234–248.

Welss M. A., Heywood J. B., Drake E. M., Schafer A., AuYeung F.F. (2000). On the road in 2020: A life-cycle analysis of new automobile technologies, Energy Laboratory Report, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, October.

Metz, D. (2015). Peak car in the big city: Reducing London’s transport greenhouse gas emissions. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 3, 367–371.

Moloney, S., Horne, R. H., & Fien, J. (2010). Transitioning to low carbon communities from behaviour change to systemic change: Lessons from Australia. Energy Policy, 38, 7614–7623.

Mont, O. (2007). Concept paper for the task force on sustainable lifestyles. Third International Expert Meeting on Sustainable Consumption and Production, 1–14. Stockholm,2007

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2016). Climate change. Retrieved from October 11, 2016

Olafsson, A. S., Nielsen, T. S., & Carstensen, T. A. (2016). Cycling in multimodal transport behaviours: Exploring modality styles in the Danish population. Journal of Transport Geography, 52, 123–130.

Patterson, M. G. (1996). What is energy efficiency? Concepts, indicators and methodological issues. Energy Policy, 24(5), 377–390.

Pisani, J. A. (2006). Sustainable development, historical roots of the concept. Environmental Sciences, 3(2), 83–96.

Stead, D. (2016). Identifying key research themes for sustainable urban mobility. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 10(1), 1–8.

Valdes, C., Monzon, A., & Benitez, F. G. (2016). Sustainable urban transportation strategies: Searching for synergies. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 20, 1066–1075.




How to Cite

Akgul, G. N. (2018). An Analysis of “Sustainable Mobility” Research: From a Planning Perspective. Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Sustainability, 1(1).