The original focus of REBALANCE entails a novel and deeper attention to the cultural and value-based factors that play a role in collective and individual mobility choices and orientations…

A variety of foresight studies have been carried out in recent years to explore the future dynamics of transport and mobility, including the on-going EEA study on urban mobility at 2050 . Many of these projects focus primarily on the future of technologies, or on specific transport sectors. The original focus of REBALANCE, on the other hand, entails a novel and deeper attention to the cultural and value-based factors that play a role in collective and individual mobility choices and orientations, notably including modal choices and travel behaviours on the demand side, and the planning of infrastructure and innovative services on the supply side.

This has prompted the development of an additional step, to bridge the “traditional” exploration of trends and weak signals that drive mobility choices with the identification of cultural and value-based factors that reflect the deeper roots behind such trends and signals. Accordingly, the critical uncertainties that were prioritised when devising a meaningful framework for scenario building – were selected among drivers that explicitly point to basic values and cultural tenets behind mobility choices and orientations.

The list below presents the selected trends and weak signals. Many of these originate in the transport and mobility sector itself, while others illustrate dynamics that are likely to affect mobility choices but reflect broader phenomena. Trends/signals are grouped in 6 main categories, each corresponding to a basic dimension of the mobility culture:

  • Lifestyles
  • Travel habits
  • Modal choices
  • Vehicles and systems
  • The vision of the city
  • Social interactions

These dimensions are not meant to serve as a definite taxonomy of trends and signals, but rather to help organizing and characterizing them and ensuring that a balanced variety/diversity is achieved. In addition to the short description provided for each item, they were classified according to the well-known PESTLE framework.

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The REBALANCE Key Drivers

Living environment
Life’s steering principle
Technoscientific society
Useful mobility
Urban liveability
Safety perspective
Privacy concerns
Car-based culture
Sustainability transition

In line with the specific ambition of the project, and as opposed to what can be found in previous transport foresight exercises, the REBALANCE drivers must be explicitly related to culture and value changes. Accordingly, a long list of drivers from literature review and explorative conversations was elaborated. Trends and signals were then clustered around a shorter list of individual and collective aspirations, reflecting alternative philosophical views, ethical priorities and diverse cultural inheritance This resulting short list of 12 drivers, or key factors, as it is shown in Table above.

The PESTLE approach


These factors determine the extent to which a government may influence the economy or a certain industry.


These factors are determinants of an economy’s performance that directly impacts transport and mobility and have resonating long term effects.


These factors scrutinize the social environment of the topic of study and gauge determinants like cultural trends, demographics, population analytics, etc.


These factors pertain to innovations in technology that may affect the operations of the transport / mobility industry.


These factors have both external and internal sides. For example, there are certain laws that affect the transport / mobility environment in a certain country.


These factors include all those that influence or are determined by the surrounding environment.

Trends & Drivers

Alternative Narratives

The Vision