Change of Lifestyle and Values


Driver description
Interactions within the Social Domain
Interactions with the Economy Domain

Interactions with the Environment Domain
Interactions with the Technology Domain
Impacts on Mobility and Transport

Driver description

  • “Lifestyle concepts have been drawn upon for many years to explain and differentiate between social actions in various need areas – e.g. via target group concepts, which are common practice in the consumption and food sectors, as well as in the field of mobility and tourism.” (Ref: CO_5006)
  • “Mobility patterns are also being affected by changing values and attitudes.” (Ref: CO_1023)
  • “Non-work related mobility (leisure, culture, consumption, education) has increased, while home-working has developed and will continue to do so.” (Ref: CO_1023)
  • “It is difficult to make future estimates about tele-working. In 2050 it is likely that it will be difficult to distinguish “tele-workers” from “nonteleworkers”, since most people will be “part-time tele-workers.” (...) But they will still do some face-to-face work due to human relationship needs, which are fundamental in business.” (Ref: CO_5048)
  • “In light of economic globalisation and of the intensification of information flows, international experience is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon in the life of Europeans, affecting lifestyles, consumption patterns and basic values.” (Ref: CO_1023)
  • “The decreasing price of air fares has encouraged long-distance leisure mobility though rises in energy prices could significantly impact this sector in future.” (Ref: CO_1023)
  • “The spread of air travel has drastically changed the way in which Europeans conduct business, visit family and friends, and spend their holidays.” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “Long holidays have largely been replaced by more frequent “mini-breaks” and shorter holidays.” (Ref: CO_1023)
  • “Highly-qualified young members of the working population, in particular, manifest a high degree of professional mobility that goes hand in hand with a high level of residential mobility and travel. The consequence of this is that social networks such as families and friendships are cultivated over long distances inside and outside Europe (Global Locals), so that coping with mobility by its very nature turns into a lifestyle in its own right (Durrschmitt, 2002; Petzold, in print; Reuschke, 2009).” (Ref: CO_5006)
  • “In view of contemporary attitudes to time and speed, we can expect transport users to demand high levels of mobility and prioritise high-speed modes of transport.” (Ref: CO_2041)
  • “Many younger people are more excited about electronic equipment such as cellular telephones and computers than automobiles. The portion of 16 to 19 year olds licensed to drive declined from 71% in 1983 to 56% in 2007, in part due to increased vehicle costs and license requirements, but probably also due to waning interest.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “According to current surveys on traffic behaviour and global developments, a trend is emerging that could possibly replace the overall automotive concept adhered to by young adults (BMVBS/infas/DLR, 2009). In Germany, for instance, the proportion of 18 to 25- year-olds with a driving licence has decreased. This is an indication of changing mobility socialisations, above all in the case of young people growing up in conurbations with multioptional mobility systems (well-developed public transport system, car-sharing, NMT). Obtaining a driving licence as part of the initiation into adult society is being dispensed with, to be replaced by a multi-optional navigation capability within a mobile society.” (Ref: CO_5006)
  • “Consumer technology has shown a drastic change in the past few decades. (...) Home entertainment has also changed drastically; there is now a television set in virtually every home. More recently, video games, videocassette recorders, big-screen television sets, cable television, and a variety of home computers have been introduced into American homes. Concurrent with this, video rental outlets are mushrooming in suburban shopping centers. It seems as if ‘‘home-based leisure’’ (Maloney 1982) is replacing traditional out-of-home social recreation activities.” (Ref: CO_0196)
  • “Behavioural and technological strategies not only differ in the extent to which they may improve different sustainability aspects, but probably also in the extent to which they affect the quality of life of citizens. In general, people prefer technological solutions to behaviour changes, because the latter is perceived as more strongly reducing the freedom to move. (...) Behavioural changes generally are associated with additional effort or decreased comfort. For example, reducing car use implies that we need to adjust our lifestyle, which may evoke (initial) resistance because it requires effort and reduces freedom, comfort and convenience.” (Ref: CO_0042)
  • “This discussion of the many changes that are pertinent to travel behaviour indicates that future effort must focus on understanding and predicting the direction and magnitude of behavioural changes.” (Ref: CO_0196)

Interactions within the Social Domain

Migration flows

  • “Alongside traditional migration and mobility, new forms of mobility are taking place. People are moving abroad for shorter periods, mainly to other Member States, to seek work, pursue their education or other life opportunities. These mobile people tend to be well-educated young adults, towards the higher end of the occupational scale. Increasingly, this form of mobility is based on personal preferences and life choices, and not only on economic opportunities.” (Ref: CO_0069)

Income structure and distribution

  • “As people's incomes grow, their preference towards non‑essential travel (e.g. holidays), speed and comfort also increase, making aviation an attractive option (see Doganis, 1995).” (ref: CO_5031)

Car ownership

  • “Assuming that negative views of public transport prevail, the demand high levels of mobility and prioritise high-speed modes of transport can be expected to contribute to a continuing increase of the motorisation rate.” (Ref: CO_2041)
  • “There are already signs in some cities that the popularity of the car as a status symbol is declining, especially as congestion problems get worse and alternative status symbols (such as smart technology devices) emerge.” (Ref: CO_5018)
  • “It is difficult to measure consumer preferences, and more difficult to predict how they will change in the future, but there are many indicators that consumers’ often-mentioned “love affair” with automobiles is losing its passion. This occurs, in part, simply because it would be difficult for automobiles to capture more affection, or a greater share of consumers’ financial and time budgets, than occurred during the Twentieth Century.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “The impact of an emerging “sustainable consumption” culture on transport could be important. Car ownership could be affected most, with a move away from owning a car being seen as a status symbol and the only provider of “mobility freedom”, particularly for the younger generation.” (Ref: CO_5048)


  • “Lifestyle perceptions of city or rural quality of life, leisure and tourism, also affect the trends of peri-urbanisation.” (Ref: CO_0097)
  • “In contrast to the apparent attractions of the suburbs, the many negative aspects of the inner city cores, including poor environment, social problems and safety issues, create powerful drivers of urban sprawl. City cores are perceived by many as more polluted, noisy and unsafe than the suburbs. The built-up environment is also considered unattractive because of poor urban planning, with areas lacking green open space and sports facilities.” (Ref: CO_0028)
  • “A survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America found that consumers value a shorter commute time and having sidewalks and places to walk in their neighborhood. Among people planning to buy a home in the next three years, 87% place a high importance on a shorter commute as their top priority.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “(...) most households want to own an automobile and many want a large-lot suburban home. But demand for these seems to be declining somewhat, while demand for more multi-modal, urban lifestyles is likely to grow.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “Urban living is now “cool,” and increasingly popular with the middle-class, including younger and retired people.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “Spatially, the new forms of work primarily affect densely populated areas. As a result of overlay effects – especially between flexible working and opening hours – the spatial impacts are greater on specific densely populated areas in urban centres and agglomerations than across the entire region. Over the long term, many of the new forms of work will actually be able to support these spatiotemporal changes thanks to the acceptance by commuters of longer distances between home and work locations.” (Ref: CO_0009)


  • “There is also a need to better understand people’s behaviour in order to adjust the transport system to their true mobility needs – after all, policies implemented today will determine the design of cities for many decades.” (Ref: CO_5019)
  • “Not enough distinction is made between users on the basis of their different orientations, needs and demands. Instead they are treated as a homogeneous group. On the one hand, with the findings available it is possible to identify and address target groups for different services of sustainable transport. On the other hand, emission profiles can be calculated for these groups, thus identifying the groups who contribute to a greater or lesser degree to GHG emissions and who could therefore be targeted by incentives or restrictions. The approach of the TRANSvisions study points in the right direction in this respect (TRANSvisions, 2009).” (Ref: CO_5006)
  • “Demand for speed is far from saturation, but speed has a social price and needs space. This immature behaviour will collide with or at least will be smoothed out by eco-mobility and relaxed attitudes, leading to new urban planning mix.” (Ref: CO_5005)
  • “A heightened appreciation of environmental values is likely to require the future development of public transport as well. In a fragmented community structure, however, all alternative for development of public transport systems are costly ventures.” (Ref: CO_0004)

Tourist flows

  • “Besides the need for appropriate transport options to serve the everyday travel demand of an increasing share of leisure consumers in our cities, the most evident consequence of the growing leisure society, and availability of free-time, is the fast growth of tourism.” (Ref: CO_5048)
  • “The increased use of aviation for leisure trips is witnessed in some countries by the popularity of 'city breaks' over the weekend, stag/hen parties in Eastern European capitals, and workers flying back to meet parents over holiday seasons.” (Ref: CO_5031)


  • “Trips made for school purposes typically constitute a small fraction of total transport demand. (...) However, the timing of school journeys is a reason for concern. School traffic flows often coincide with peak traffic flows, which can contribute to morning peak-time road congestion.” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “Concerning Education based travel effects on transport demand, trends across Europe indicate an increase in journeys to school by car caused for instance by concerns over children's safety and security, adults' travel behaviours and household income.” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “(...) habits children develop in their youths may affect how they choose to travel later in their lives. For example those who are accustomed to the car are unlikely to change modes in their adult lives (Cairns et al., 2004b).” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “Likewise, children who are accustomed to cycling, walking or using public transport are more likely to continue to do so in the future.” (Ref: CO_5031)


  • “The decreasing numbers of children walking or cycling can have a serious impact on their physical health and mental well-being. Furthermore there is a potential reduction in children's ability to socialize on the way to school whilst getting adequate daily exercise. It is widely known that falling levels of exercise can contribute to growing levels of obesity in children and young adults.” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “Walking and cycling have great potential tocontribute to more sustainable and healthy cities. Active mobility brings physical and mental health benefits that largely outweigh possible increased exposure to pollution or safety risks.” (Ref: CO_5019)

Interactions with the Economy Domain

GDP trends

  • “Demand for speed is directly linked to GDP and individual welfare and is far from saturation (Thisse, 2009).” This is due to increasing value of time: we want to do more things (especially with our free time) in a day that still has 24 hours.” (Ref: CO_5005)


  • “In contemporary societies we can observe a trend towards the flexibilisation of labour. This is evidenced by the increase of part-time work as well as telework, the introduction of flexible working times in several economic sectors but also the increase of unemployment and the reduction of job stability. Life-long and full employment are no longer considered realistic goals among political elites and the social policy community. At the same time there is a steady increase of the employment moratorium period in young age due to longer education and training periods in conjunction with stagnating labour market demand.” (Ref: CO_2041)
  • “Working hours have become more flexible, work locations are changed more frequently, the proportion of part-time employees is increasing and new technologies have led to the development of new forms of work such as telecommuting, video conferences and remote maintenance. These behavioural trends and their traffic impacts have been analysed in various studies, allowing for an assessment of their affects and general planning directives.” (Ref: CO_0009)
  • “Part-time work is a widespread form of employment in Nordic countries and in the UK and Germany, whereas it is rare in the southern European and candidate countries.” (Ref: CO_0083)

Regional differences in economics

  • “(...) economic development is an important driverfor value change, but that cultural (religious) heritage leaves a permanent imprint.” (Ref: CO_0114)
  • “(...) cultural differences (while still present) are loosing their previous importance as a driving force for regional development, giving way to more market-oriented globally unified regional patterns.” (Ref: CO_0222)

Energy availability and prices

  • “People’s lifestyle choices, such as opting for virtual services instead of travel, could directly affect energy demand levels in cities too.” (Ref: CO_5018)

Interactions with the Environment Domain

GHG mitigation

  • “Almost everything we produce and consume means GHG emissions today, because we do not use much renewable energy or live very sustainably. Much of what we use may arrive with superfluous packaging itself a problem to dispose of, a waste of energy and a source of emissions.” (Ref: CO_0091)

Pollution levels and emissions standards

  • “Various strategies have been proposed to arrive at a more sustainable transport system. In general, a distinction can be made between behavioural and technological changes. Behavioural changes are aimed to reduce the level of car use, e.g. by shifting to less polluting modes of transport, changing destination choices, combining trips, or travelling less. Such strategies may improve environmental quality, urban quality of life, and destination accessibility.” (Ref: CO_0042)

Scarce resources of fossil fuels

  • “There were more than 6.6 thousand million people in the world in early 2008, and the UN Population fund expects the total to reach about 9 thousand million before it starts to decline. Add to that a growing global appetite for consumer goods, and it becomes clear that unless we disconnect consumption and growing standards of living from the use of natural resources, we shall soon run short of many essential resources – minerals, like uranium, copper and gold, for example.” (Ref: CO_0091)

Energy availability, production and consumption

  • “Transportation patterns and technology choices also require a balanced approach that recognises both the human and technological dimensions of energy consumption. From vehicle choices to decisions about amounts and modes of travel, human behaviour significantly influences levels of energy demand in the transportation sector.” (Ref: CO_0154)

Interactions with the Technology Domain

Technology development in general and innovation diffusion

  • “Other digital media such as those for telephony, photography, video and music are used by larger sections of the population. The motivation to work with digital media has sharply risen in recent years. In most European countries all parts of the population, from young to old, and from low to high educated want to participate.” (Ref: CO_2018)
  • “The phenomena of computer anxiety and computer hatred have diminished.” (Ref: CO_2018)
  •  “User behaviour plays a determining role in the success or failure of new technologies. Users, apart from ‘early adopters’, are often unwilling to change their customary way of travelling and transporting goods, whereas the uptake of new technologies might require modifying deep-rooted habits.” (Ref: CO_0089)

Information systems

  • “Rapid advances are being made in telecommunications technology. New telecommunications capabilities now available offer the potential of replacing certain shopping and personal business trips. Through the use of home computers or television sets, consumers can shop electronically for an increasing variety of goods and services.” (Ref: CO_0196)

Booking and payment systems

  • “(...) the emergence of smartcard ticketing is symptomatic of a global trend toward cashless transactions. Driving this shift, major credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard are embedding smart chips in cards that enable them to perform the functions of a public transport ticket as well as regular functions. This concept has also been extended to mobile phone technology, with the availability of applications for smartphones that enable the phone itself to perform ticketing and card payment functions.” (Ref: CO_0290)

Pollution abatement and monitoring

  • “As a result of these often marginal effects of new abatement technologies, the potential for behavioural change to promote further emissions reductions through reduced demand is becoming more important.” (Ref: CO_0276)

Energy efficiency

  • “Although energy efficiency improvements are expected to continue to reduce energy intensity in the future, the size and speed of such savings will depend on several behavioural factors including patterns of technology adoption, maintenance and use.” (Ref: CO_0154)
  • “(…) the ‘social efficiency’ of energy use (…) is the effectiveness with which a given amount of energy is used to satisfy human needs. We have appropriated the term ‘social efficiency’, because the more common term ‘energy conservation’ usually includes reductions through both technical efficiency gains as well as less use of energy-using devices.” (Ref: CO_0044)
  • “Consumer choices lie at the heart of the well-known gap between potential and actual levels of energy efficiency. These choices often reflect a significant disconnect between consumer attitudes and behaviours. To address this, policy makers need a better understanding of the dimensions of consumer behaviour and energy use.” (Ref: CO_0154)
  • “(…) there has been a consumer revolution in recent years, thanks in part to initiatives such as the EU labelling scheme to show us just how much energy our appliances consume. A recent survey indicated that as many as 85 % of consumers now consider energy consumption a more important criterion than price, when they purchase white goods.” (Ref: CO_0269)
  • “From vehicle choices to decisions about amounts and modes of travel, human behaviour significantly influences levels of energy demand in the transportation sector. Transportation policies that reflect people’s behaviour can enable better vehicle choices, help induce modal shifts from less efficient to more efficient modes of travel, encourage constraint in the number of vehicle kilometres (km) travelled, and help reshape driving habits in ways that will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.” (Ref: CO_0154)

Impacts on Mobility and Transport

The clear impact of changing lifestyles on overall travel demand is not so easy to assess…

  •  “Numerous elements in the travel environment change continuously. New consumer products appearing constantly on the market greatly reduce the time spent in homemaking; home entertainment equipment is enriching in-home leisure activities; institutional and technological changes are transforming the way urban residents work, and social attitudes and values are evolving. How these changes will transform life-style and affect travel demand is difficult to assess at this point.” (Ref: CO_0196)
  • “The potential of telecommuting in relieving traffic congestion, reducing energy consumption, mitigating air pollution, and saving infrastructure construction and maintenance costs remains to be determined. Unfortunately, assessments of the impact of telecommunications technology on life-style, residential location, and travel demand tend to be educated guesses.” (Ref: CO_0196)
  • “One critical difficulty is the lack of data that can support the effort to determine whether in-home activities may substitute for out-of-home activities, whether out-of-home activities will be suppressed, or whether new out-of-home activities will be induced as a result of new telecommunications technology.” (Ref: CO_0196)

…though an increasing demand for air transport shall be expected

  • “Social-demographic changes, such as the increased movement of people across Europe, also have a large effect on air travel. Furthermore, cultural factors such as image and status of flying, and environmental consciousness are likely to impact on demand.” (Ref: CO_5031)
  • “For leisure travel, as Tol (2006) suggests, most people would see a foreign holiday in a different light to a domestic one and hence the two would not be completely substitutable.” (Ref: CO_5031)

“Virtual” mobility will develop…

  • Teleworking and video conferencing has been hailed as a solution to mobility (...) since the 1980s; (...). This is another forecasting mistake that did not consider human behaviour and psychology. People still need to interact personally (face-to-face meetings and interaction foster confidence, a key point in business) and want to leave home to differentiate work from private life. (Ref: CO_5005)
  • “Not all employees want to telework or have suitable home conditions.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “However, future generations may have a different set of mobility preferences. Today’s children will have grown up with immersive networking technology, and are likely to be much more comfortable spending time in virtual spaces.” (Ref: CO_5018)

…even though global time spent on mobility will probably remain unchanged

  • “OECD carried out an analysis in 2002 based on travel surveys over a long span of time and in many different countries. The results showed that there is robust evidence that the daily amount of time spent on travelling has only slightly changed over time. (...) the average time budget is around 1.1 hour a day: importantly, this does not depend on income level or historic period.” (Ref: CO_5048)

As far as transport modes are concerned, there will probably be an increase in demand for the fast ones

  • “Since some leisure service consumption takes place outside private homes, the need for appropriate transport possibilities, including public transport services, is increasing.” (Ref: CO_5048)
  • “Most people ‘want to get there as fast as possible’, regardless of the destination.” (Ref: CO_5005)
  • With regard to mobility preferences, European citizens prioritise high-speed and subsequently high-speed travel. This is evidenced, among others, by car manufacturing. Another indicator of preference for speed is the success of high-speed trains (HST). (Ref: CO_5048)

Increasing acceptability of alternative transport modes

  • “During the Twentieth Century, walking, cycling and riding public transit travel were stigmatized, but in recent years alternative modes have become more socially acceptable. For example, bicycle commuting is increasingly accepted and even prestigious. Transit travel is also increasingly accepted as urban living becomes more popular and where service is upgraded.” (Ref: CO_5047)
  • “Car-sharing will occupy a growing market share in some urban areas, slowing the growth of car travel and possibly reducing urban vehicle stocks.” (Ref: CO_0284)
  • “Although automobiles are expected to be the dominant mode in the future, with the largest mode share and mileage, alternative modes growth rates are expected to be large, since they start with such small percentages.” (Ref: CO_5047)
Figure 1‑27 Urbanisation impact on mode split

Source: The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be. Changing Trends And Their Implications For Transport Planning (Ref: CO_5047)

  • “Society as a whole needs to change its approach to understanding transport issues. Being mobile does not necessarily mean having two cars for every household. Many urban young have grown up much less car dependent and much more reliant on public transport than their parents, seeing the car as something to hire or share when needed rather than owned and used habitually regardless of trip purpose.” (Ref: CO_0284)

Emerging mobility patterns with new temporal distribution

  • “A factor common to all new forms of work is increased flexibility. Individual transport offers greater advantages than public transport in this respect. With regard to choice of transport mode or future services, therefore, public and combined transport faces a major challenge in preventing the loss of market share to individual transport.” (Ref: CO_0009)
  • “The labour market situation and especially the flexibilisation of labour will affect mobility patterns by challenging the nine-to-five work and delivery day and the peak congestion hours associated with this. Even though this could alleviate the strain on transport networks in periods of economic stagnation, in periods of economic growth it could also lead to a deterioration of the situation.” (Ref: CO_2041)
  • “The SVI_2001_515 project showed that the influence of new forms of work on transport is substantial, not so much because of the total traffic volumes but rather in view of their spatiotemporal distribution.” (Ref: CO_0009)
  • “They mainly extend the morning and evening peak hours. However, they are more likely to extend the capacity limits rather than alleviate them in any absolute sense (taking into consideration a further general increase in transport volume). In general, there is more pressure on late-evening and (secondary) weekend traffic.” (Ref: CO_0009)