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Mobility, History of Everyday

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

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Abstract

Travel to school, the journey to work, visits to friends, shopping, and leisure activities all provide huge benefits to economy, society, and the individuals involved; they also bring costs in terms of congestion and environmental damage. It is usually assumed that levels of mobility have increased dramatically in most parts of the world, that the motor car has become increasingly dominant, and that virtual mobilities have become increasingly important. Such assumptions underlie most mobility theories which focus on the social, economic, and cultural impacts of hypermobility. However, while opportunities for mobility are greater than ever before, and most people are traveling further and more often, there remain huge mobility inequalities, especially by location, income, gender, and age. Walking remains important for everyday mobility even in rich countries and is dominant in most poor countries. However, the needs of pedestrians are often marginalized in transport policies. Likewise, both cycling and public transport use are high in some countries, but their position is fragile and cyclists often feel threatened by the motor car. The underlying structure of much everyday mobility has changed little over the last half-century, and these past trends need to be taken into account in contemporary transport policies.