Publications Mobile applications for a sustainable urban lifestyle


Mobile applications for a sustainable urban lifestyle


Palmgren, Emma & Zapico, Jorge Luis


Mobile applications for a sustainable urban lifestyle

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Master Thesis at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in collaboration with Ericsson, Stockholm 2008.


The starting points for this thesis are three contemporary societal trends. One is that information and communica­tion technologies (ICT) and especially mobile phones are widespread and in use all around the world through all societal layers. At the same time, urbanization in the world is increasing, with already half of the world’s popu­lation living in cities. Finally, with an increasing popula­tion, resource depletion, climate change and other envi­ronmental problems, a sustainability approach is needed.

This report explores the possibilities that existing ICT can bring for sustainability in the urban context. Focus is on end-users, identifying applications for increasing personal environmental awareness and for dematerial­ization of products and services. The applications were then put into the context of our chosen target group; ur­ban China and Latin America, studying their potential. Personas and scenarios were used to acquire a better understanding of our target group and the usability of our applications.

Our work resulted in a catalogue consisting of 35 applica­tions in the areas of transportation, housing, consump­tion and urban exploration. Placing these in context with our target group, we realized that different applications were suitable for different levels of environmental aware­ness. Our target group was characterized by a decoupling between their lifestyle choices and climate change. This brings both possibilities for improvement, but also re­quires an approach tailored for these users characteris­tics.

Through this report we have seen that information and communication technologies have a potential to trans­form society, changing the way we interact, work and consume. Applications as virtual presence, tele-working and dematerialization of products, can provide opportu­nities to decouple economic activity from environmen­tal impacts. Providing more information and increasing awareness about the impacts of our actions can also help to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Technology alone is not going to help towards a sustainable society, but its ap­plications and what these are designed for, are the ones that can have a positive impact.

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    Posted by Mobile applications for a sustainable urban lifestyle | Centre for … | China Today | March 10, 2010, 14:19

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