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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Year on the Bike: 12 Months of Commuting to Work Without a Car [via The Atlantic]

Ben McAllister
BEN MCALLISTER - Ben McAllister is an assistant creative director at the innovation firm frog. His writing has appeared in Fast Company, PSFK, and Interactions Magazine.

    What I've learned about systems design, health, and human nature a year after I sold my car and decided to bike 12 miles to the office every day
    In our era of polarized politics, the idea of changing someone's mind seems increasingly implausible. But what if instead of changing someone's mind, you could change their behavior? This is a subject on the mind of many designers today. Whether you're talking about healthcare, the environment, or education, designers are increasingly being asked to solve problems by changing the way people act. How can we encourage people to eat right, reduce carbon emissions, and spend less (or more)?
    For empathy's sake, over the last year, I undertook a behavior change of my own: I sold my car and started biking to work every day. One year later, it's time to reflect on what I've learned about behavioral change: What it takes to make it happen, how it can surprise you, and the limits.


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