Think of radical changes in the ways humans have been mobile throughout history. How did those changes happen, how did they influence every sphere of life, how did they reshape societies or reinforced already existing identities, classes and norms? What probably comes to one’s mind first is a series of inventions: from a wheel to a car. Then one may think beyond innovative vehicles: both daily and global mobilities have been entangled into a variety of (geo-)political processes, societal transformations and development of new technologies in other spheres, for instance, ICT.
Now as the societal awareness of the consequences of the climate change grows and new policies are adopted by states and local governments, will that induce a series of changes in the way we move, a mobility transition?
The two year project “Living in the Mobility Transition” aims to identify policies, visions, organizational forms, technologies and practices that develop in 14 countries in direct or indirect relation to climate change. Will we move more or less? What vehicles will we be using? What meanings will mobility have in various contexts? Who is steering relevant policies and what are the rationales behind introducing new regulations, vehicles and practices? How are the questions of social justice implicated into the visions of transition? How are visions of mobility transition contested, how do they succeed or fail, become exported or abandoned?
The project team will seek answers to these questions through analysing grey literature and conducting interviews with key stakeholders in fourteen countries as well international and surpranational organizations. The research has started with the two pilot case studies conducted in Canada and the UK, focusing on a variety of policies from encouraging active travel and flexible working arrangements to building public transportation infrastructure and supporting the use of new low-carbon vehicles.
The project team is based at Northeastern University, Boston and Royal Holloway, University of London and includes seven researchers: Tim Cresswell (Northeastern), Peter Adey (Royal Holloway), Cristina Temenos (Northeastern), Jane Yeonjae Lee (Northeastern), Andre Novoa (Northeastern), Astrid Wood (Royal Holloway) and Anna Nikolaeva (Royal Holloway).