York Region’s New Community TDM Social Marketing Project

Project Highlights

The existing and projected growth in York Region, Ontario creates traffic and transportation access challenges for the community and the surrounding Toronto urban area. UrbanTrans provided a group of private-sector developers, York Region, and the City of Vaughan with a comprehensive community-based social marketing campaign to help offset transportation infrastructure demand from a major new housing development.  Coupled with the campaign, UrbanTrans packaged, promoted and developed a series of TDM interactive tools.  These were communicated to the residents under a widely successful brand created for the campaign: “NeighbourGood”.  The goal of the project was to assist residents in travel behavior change just after moving into their new home– a key opportunity identified in behavior change strategies.

NeighbourGood, was designed to encourage measurable travel behavior change and was based on internationally researched and accepted social behavior change structures and psychological principles. When applying this approach to this new residential suburban development, our team utilized physiographic indicators and market research to identify unique motivators and messages for sustainable behavior change. Our approach also took into account development patterns and growth of this suburban environment, traffic conditions and the size and demographics of the target population.  Most importantly, this project focused on the specific sustainable transport services, programs and infrastructure accessible to the residents.

The project resulted in an overall 23 percent increase in non-car trips, a 17 percent decrease per person in Vehicle Kilometres Traveled, and a 21 percent decrease per person in Single Occupant Vehicle trips.