, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 291–309 | Cite as

How the longer term success of a social marketing program is influenced by socio-demographics and the built environment

  • Corinne Mulley
  • Liang Ma


Urban sprawl is pervasive in Australian cities arising from the low density development of dwellings with the consequence that private vehicle use dominates daily travel in Australia. This paper examines a community based social marketing program, TravelSmart, which targeted reducing vehicle kilometres travelled as part of a transport demand management strategy. This paper uses 3-year panel data collected by GPS tracking and a conventional survey methodology in northern Adelaide, South Australia, to examine whether TravelSmart had a sustained impact and whether this was impacted by socio-economic and built-environment factors. A latent growth model is employed and demonstrates TravelSmart led to a declining trend in private car driving over the 3 years at both individual and household levels with effects being sustained beyond 1 year and up to 2 years. There is some evidence of compensatory behaviour between household members. Socio-demographic factors are significant with males decreasing their driving times faster than females. Built environment impacts were also significant with different levels of walkability showing different trajectories in the reduction of car trips after the implementation of TravelSmart, suggesting social marketing interventions work better when supported by hard policies such as a supportive built environment.


Social marketing TravelSmart Latent growth model Built environment impacts Travel demand management interventions Travel behaviour change 



We are grateful to Professor Peter Stopher for providing the GPS data for this analysis and for talking to us about the background against it was collected. The analysis and interpretation and any errors are solely those of the authors. Material from this paper has been presented at the WCTR conference in Shanghai (July 2016) and at the Nanjing Workshop on “ICT, Activities, Time Use and Travel” (July 2016). This paper contributes to TfNSW program at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies associated with the Chair in Public Transport. Dr Liang Ma was a Research Associate at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies for the duration of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, Business SchoolThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Urban ResearchRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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