Towards sustainable mobility: Exploring the role of paradigm analysis to understand policymaking in Finland

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation


In response to climate change, global political commitments to decarbonise the transport sector have been made, resulting in a multitude of policy initiatives to promote sustainable, low-carbon transport. Many politicians, policymakers, and researchers have thus suggested a shift from conventional transport planning to a new policy paradigm that reflects sustainable mobility. This leads to a growing interest in the study of necessary conditions to facilitate such a paradigm shift in many European countries, including Finland whose climate goals are among the most ambitious in the world. However, what characterises a paradigmatic change in policymaking to promote sustainable transport remains unclear. To address this research gap, this paper reflects on previous studies on policy paradigms in public policy, specifically in urban planning and transport policy, to explain the importance of paradigm analysis to understand policymaking. The paper also explores how elements such as policy ideas, discourses, and initiatives shape the debates around transport planning by reviewing secondary literature on low-carbon transition in Finland. The paper concludes with suggestions on how to move forward in conceptualizing a paradigm shift in policymaking for sustainable mobility.
Period25 Aug 2022
Event titleNordic Planning Research Symposium
Event typeConference
Conference number10
LocationAalborg, DenmarkShow on map


  • paradigm shift
  • Sustainable mobility
  • policy paradigm