Jonas Eliasson, Director of the Centre for Transport Studies at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), takes a stab at one of the largest problems in big cities: traffic congestion. In this TEDx, Eliasson discusses techniques that urban planners and policy makers can use to help mediate the problems caused by rush hour commutes by car. Contrary to most other suggestions we see, Eliasson’s solution does not involve any plans to widen sidewalks, encourage public transportation and create bike lanes; rather, this suggestion is more policy oriented.
In Eliasson’s own words, the idea behind his solution is this: instead of trying to change the way people do things, create a deterrent against the behavior the city is trying to suppress to nudge them in the right direction. In the example that Eliasson, the simple solution to alleviating traffic during rush hour was to levy a tax on a crowded route. Almost immediately, Eliasson notes, the amount of traffic dropped to 80% creating striking differences in commute times. Watch the video for more information on the study.