This section contains case studies of community programs primarily from across North America. It includes a broad sampling of programs to offer a wide variety of approaches and tools used, locations, types of organizations and participants, activities being promoted and problems being addressed. Most of these case studies illustrate approaches that have worked. However, examples of potential pitfalls are also included to provide you with a realistic map of the terrain ahead.
We are actively looking for new case studies with measured impact results. Do you know of any that might make good additions to this site? Please let us know.
All the Case Studies and examples are described in the past tense, including programs that are still operating. If the program is still operating, the Case Study summary is written in the present tense.
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Stepping It Up, led by the regional transportation authority Metrolinx, illustrates a coordinated, highly replicable, and institutionalized approach for reducing car traffic and increase walking and cycling to school. The program worked with 30 elementary schools in the City of Hamilton and Region of Peel, Ontario. Stepping It Up was designated a Landmark (best practice) case study in 2012.MORE »
This case study is a great model for reducing energy consumption through behaviour changes in student residences. Toolkits provide student organizers with detailed discussions of the environmental impact of specific behaviours, implementation strategies for energy conservation, and an assortment of 'action tools'. These organizers use the materials conservation-themed events to set a positive social norm for environmentally conscious activities. This program was designated a Landmark case study in 2010.MORE »
Two webinars are currently available that document this program.MORE »
This program is a great example of the use of ongoing individualized feedback and prompts, coupled with norm appeals. Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. A web portal offers personalized insights and tips, and tools for choosing an optimal energy rate plan. In addition, Opower offers utilities the opportunity to send text messages directly to customers to alert them when their energy consumption is high and offer ways to reduce it.MORE »
In the context of Japan's urgent need for energy conservation, Cool Biz and Super Cool Biz have used strong norm appeals to bring about marked reduction in energy use. These programs were designated a Landmark case study in 2012.MORE »
This is a rare, well-documented model for promoting walking and cycling in a small or rural community.MORE »
BIXI is a bike sharing system that makes it convenient for commuters to cycle rather than drive – especially for frequent, short trips. One of the world's largest bike rental systems, BIXI was originally developed to augment Montreal’s existing transit system and has since spread to other cities around the world. The system now boasts over 21,432 bikes and 1,806 stations. Montrealers alone have made over 11,000,000 trips with BIXI since its implementation. What research led to their approach and how did they fine tune it? This is a great example of how to make urban cycling (and other repetitive behaviors) a more practical and attractive option.MORE »
Want to encourage more people to cycle to special events instead of taking their cars? Here's a great way to make it easier for them to do so. BEST's Bicycle Valet, operating in Metro Vancouver, provides free and safe special-event parking for bicycles and other modes of active transportation, allows event patrons to leave their helmets, panniers and other cycling apparel, and offers cycling route maps, transit maps and other information about active transportation. The service is paid for by the event organizers and sponsored by Travelsmart.MORE »
With an average of 15% of the U.S. population moving each year, new residents represent a significant portion of urban dwellers. In response, Portland has refocused its Individualized Marketing efforts and incorporated an innovative and targeted communication strategy to help new residents develop environmentally-friendly and active transportation habits. As a result, the city’s new residents took 10% fewer drive-alone trips and the proportion of their trips taken by green and active methods increased by 14%. This comprehensive approach includes a strong evaluation design and targeted social marketing strategies. SmartTrips Welcome was designated a Landmark (best practice) case study in 2012.MORE »
WORKshift is Calgary regional initiative to promote, educate and accelerate the adoption of telecommuting. WORKshift works with businesses to implement telework programs for their employees.MORE »
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