Community sharing: sustainable mobility in a post-carbon, depopulating society

Ritsuko Ozaki, Midori Aoygagi, Fred Steward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines new initiatives in shared mobility of Kashiwa City, a satellite town outside Tokyo, from the users’ perspective. In Japan, the transport sector accounts for almost 20 per cent of carbon emissions. At the same time, a population decrease has led to a decline in use of public transport, reducing the level of the quality of life of residents who live in rural and remote areas. This makes residents depend on private cars, ending up contributing to carbon emissions. Three key issues for sustainable mobility to tackle carbon emissions and residents’ wellbeing issues are discussed. Kashiwa City has experimented with new shared transport services with fixed-route microbuses and more flexible community taxis. The paper explores user perception and experience of such community mobility services and considers the three issues from the viewpoint of the practice of mobility. Background interviews were conducted with the city’s officials and transport service operators, and an ethnographic study was carried out and in-situ conversations were made to explore the utility and meaning of mobility. To increase use of public transport to further reduce CO2 emissions from transport, it is important to pay more attention to the practice of mobility from the user’s perspective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Sociology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2021


  • Community transport
  • practices of mobility
  • sharing
  • sustainable mobility
  • user perspective

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