Edmonton’s LocalMotion Program

Developed by the City of Edmonton, the LocalMotion program was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality through the reduction of regular automobile use by residents. After conducting an initial survey that revealed the frequency of residents’ automobile use and the barriers they faced when attempting to drive less, the city made the decision to target just one neighborhood to start, selecting Parkallen from a pool of applicants because it already had a number of interested residents and a community champion that could help to foster interest and excitement around the program. A community information night was held to introduce LocalMotion to residents, followed by a visioning workshop in which residents and city staff worked together to develop a list of transportation alternatives they thought would work for their community. Once alternatives with the greatest chance for success were identified, a combination of community events, household challenges, and learning opportunities were employed to help residents commute without the use of their cars for a period of one month. A calendar of events and a weekly electronic newsletter provided participants with information on upcoming workshops and courses that aligned with the program’s goals. The newsletter also served as a tool to help remind residents of their commitment to the LocalMotion program. Program developers also created 11 short videos that captured different aspects of the program and eventually combined these YouTube clips into a documentary that was used to celebrate the program and promote it to other jurisdictions. Additionally, neighborhood improvements that addressed transportation barriers throughout Parkallen were made as part of the LocalMotion program. Pre- and post- program telephone surveys were conducted with residents of Parkallen to evaluate the impact of LocalMotion. Residents were also asked to use self-reporting logbooks to track their kilometers and the city’s transportation department conducted cordon counts to track all vehicles entering and leaving the neighborhood before, during, and after the program. A community feedback wall at local events allowed residents to share views and ideas related to the program and a monthly survey of participants allowed program managers to track how people were doing while LocalMotion was being implemented. Overall, about 12% of Parkallen households participated in the program, with participant households reporting that they drove an average of 400 kilometers less during the period that LocalMotion was active.

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