Introducing Gesmo

In the fields of mobility research and transportation planning gender issues are still hardly considered. However, the existence of gender-related differences in mobility behaviour patterns has already been proved by a number of studies. Women have to combine their job-related duties to a large extend with family and supply responsibilities; therefore, they possess specific demands related to transportation systems, which have to be considered when developing solutions and services. In the current discussion concerning the location-related evaluation of mobility options the consideration of gender-related aspects is still remarkably neglected. In existing approaches towards the development of web-based information services group-specific requirements are hardly included or completely missing; therefore those solutions risk to remain unaccepted among specific user groups.

project presentation for the Austrian Staatspreis Mobilität 2013 (German)

Objectives and results

GeSMo aims at developing a comprehensive, gender-oriented evaluation model for measuring the mobility-related quality of a given location by considering transportation-related evaluation criteria, specific weightings for group-related requirements and sustainable mobility styles, available data sources and different approaches for visualising mobility-related quality at locations.

The project is focussing on two target groups: firstly, people with multiple responsibilities and duties (employment, family, household etc.) and therefore complex mobility patterns. Currently this group mainly consists of females; however, related project outcomes and developments based on these results are not limited to this group. Secondly, elderly people who particularly need barrier-free accessibility to transportation systems in order to maintain a high quality of life and participate in social activities are specifically regarded in the project. This group is equally mostly consisting of females.

The project will be resulting in the development of a theoretical, gender-oriented evaluation model, which can serve as evaluation tool for assessing the location-related quality of supply and as a basis for developing an efficient planning instrument. Subsequently, it can be further developed into a technological information system which is adequately considering gender-related aspects and raising the awareness and motivation for sustainable mobility styles, and which can be used by both private individuals and public planning agencies for evaluating the mobility-related quality of locations or regions.


GeSMo follows a multi-disciplinary approach which embraces on the one hand the analysis of specific requirements of the two selected target groups as well as on the other hand the screening and inclusion of available data sources concerning infrastructure and facilities. The evaluation model will be based on different scientific concepts (accessibility models, time geography, weighting of indicators etc.) and will be tested for two selected locations. During the two years’ duration of the project the target groups will be continuously involved in the scientific process.
Project phases

1. Group-specific requirements

Based on a representative survey and in-depth interviews, target group-specific needs, preferences, and limits of acceptance were analysed (e.g. importance of facilities, acceptable distance to facilities, determining factors of modal choice).

2. Model development

Based on scientific concepts (such as models of accessibility, activity-space analysis, weighted indicators etc.) and results of group-specific requirements, a gender-oriented evaluation model for locations was developed, indicating locations’ mobility-related quality.

As a result group-specific information about the accessibility of facilities according to different means of transport were derived. This information can be illustrated in various levels of detail, e.g. by a single score, ranging from 0 to 100 points, up to increasing details (see Figure 1, illustrating locations’ mobility-related quality itemized by modes of transport). Hence, this model provides information for a better awareness of locations’ facilities, infrastructure, and mobility, e.g. for private persons for evaluating locations based on individual mobility preferences, or for planers for identifying critical transport-shortages.


Figure 1: Accessibility of facilities at two locations; illustrated by a single scores between 0 and 100 as well as itemized by transport modes.

3. Evaluation

The model was evaluated by the two target groups as well as by experts from different areas of application (i.e. planners, politics, estate agencies, mobility service providers). The findings indicate how such information must be provided in a way that private persons can be sufficiently and intuitively informed about the mobility-related quality of locations. In interviews with experts, applications as well as potentials and risks of such a gender-oriented evaluation model were specified.

4. Results

Results and applications are aggregated and compiled  in a toolbox (available in German).

Project Team

The project consortium’s expertise assured a holistic approach of relevant aspects regarding mobility-related qualities of locations; including expertise in group-specified behavior analyses, requirements analyses, simulation and modeling, regional analysis, site analysis, accessibility models, definition of success criteria for information systems and planning instruments, action space research.

The Mobility Department of AIT works towards developing solutions for save, environmentally friendly, and cost- and energy efficient mobility. Its approach of vehicle, transport, and personal mobility is holistic and systemic. In GeSMo, AIT focuses on identifying group-specific needs as well as on analyzing spatiotemporal behavior and related factors of the target groups.

The Department of Urban and Regional Research at the Vienna University of Technology focuses on residential structures and processes relevant for planning. In GeSMo, models and analyses dealing with location-based demographic and social processes in residential areas will be applied.

The communication consultancy “bauen wohnen immmobilien Kommunikationsberatung GmbH” focuses on innovative solutions and trend research for the economic sector regarding building, housing, and estate. In GeSMo, findings from representative surveys as well as work experiences in this sector will add an important perspective to this project.