iLab Project Brief

We live in a car dependent society. The automobile provides us with the freedom and flexibility to go where we want, when we want. But at what expense? Greenhouse gasses, a quarter of which are produced through transportation, are changing our climate. 78.6 million adult Americans – more than one-third of the adult population – are obese. While climate change and the obesity epidemic are complex issues with many causes, one cause they share is the automobile.

What if Americans were not so car dependent? What if we choose alternative and active transportation options like walking, riding a bike, and taking the bus? The City of Chattanooga is exploring and adopting alternative and active transportation  options. CARTA offers bus service around the city, Bike Chattanooga provides a bike share program, city planners have adopted a complete streets plan that will encourage more sidewalks and bike lanes, and an effort is underway to bring an electric powered car share to town. Yet most Chattanoogans still opt to drive a car, even if its just a few blocks down the roads to grab lunch.

How do we change our car dependent culture? How do we get Chattanoogans to use alternative and active transportation options?