Blog | Thematic Focus Mobility & Conflict

Few other areas of society are currently undergoing as many changes as the mobility of people and goods. A number of (global) large-scale social trends, in very different ways, affect established social practices of moving around, transporting things, and connecting or demarcating places and territories. The digitalisation of transport, the restricted freedom of movement due to the pandemic, border closures and trade conflicts, alongside migration, climate change and civic engagement, increasingly overlap and change the shape and use of infrastructures and spatial orders that have evolved over decades. Certainly, this process can lead to tensions and conflict, as those firmly established are often pitted against outsiders, the privileged against the discriminated, or traditionalists against innovators. Societal debates about expanding bike lanes, a move away from the combustion engine, or tax increases on air travel make it clear that different cultural and economic milieus are currently renegotiating spatial cultures and mobility practices. In our blog series “Mobility and Conflict”, we will present contributions from different disciplinary perspectives that explore how complex, conflictual and ambivalent these processes of change can be, and how they may lead to new spatial cultures and mobility practices.

12. November 2021

Automating vehicles is a solution for … what? Five theses concerning automation, public spaces and public involvement in an emerging technology

Volkan Sayman

In this article, I will present five theses concerning the ongoing race for bringing automated vehicles on public roads. Some of my theses are quite disillusioning, some provide hope for a better future of urban mobility with fewer private cars, some concern seemingly “technical” details. What underlies my thinking is the fact that in a field […]

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29. October 2021

The Way of the Bikerni: Women and Motorbikes in Urban India

(Written by Maddalena Chiellini) Delhi is considered a dangerous city when it comes to women’s mobility. Episodes of violence like the bus gang-rape of 2012 are a symptom of a city inscribed with gender inequality, especially in relation to accessing public space. In this contribution, I explore the experiences and relationship with mobility of the members of a ladies-only motorcycle club, the Bikerni. By looking at their hardships and successes, this blog post aims to convey how biking is a conflagration point for more than just patriarchal relations of power.

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20. August 2021

Die fahrradfreundliche Stadt für alle? Überlegungen zu Ein- und Ausschlüssen der aktuellen Radverkehrsentwicklung in Berlin

(von Maximilian Hoor) Die Verkehrswende in Berlin scheint zum Greifen nahe und der Radverkehr erlebt seit Jahren einen rasanten Bedeutungsgewinn in Wissenschaft, Politik, Planung und Kultur. Der Beitrag greift aktuelle Entwicklungen des Radverkehrs auf und ordnet diese in den Kontext verkehrs- und stadtpolitischer Debatten ein. Es geht um die Frage, welchen Beitrag ein inklusiv gestalteter Radverkehr für die Verkehrswende und die lebenswerte Stadt leisten kann, und welche Herausforderungen sich dabei stellen.

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6. August 2021

Infrastructural violence in Johannesburg’s taxi industry

(By Silvia Danielak) Since the emergence of ride-hailing applications, South African urban centers have seen a rise in violence between the traditional metered taxis and the new ride-share services. Hundreds of criminal cases have been opened over the last years, and protests organized by ride-hailing drivers have drawn attention to the rising tension in the transport industry. A focus on urban infrastructure might shed new light on the history, politics and materiality of places that perpetuate violence in South Africa’s cities.

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