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Chapter 12 Innovations to Transform Personal Mobility

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3302

ISBN: 978-1-910158-64-7

Published: November 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-2847



Given the many adverse environmental and social effects caused by personal mobility across the planet, there is an urgent need for policy and governance that genuinely encourages and supports innovations in clean and socially just forms of mobility. The geographical complexities of peak car and the renaissance of rail and bike suggest both the importance of, and need for, innovation in the mobility of people, goods and information. This chapter argues that innovation processes in personal mobility are social and geographical in nature and therefore require the bringing together of thinking from innovation studies, such as the work on socio-technical transitions, with theorising from geography and urban studies. It introduces thinking on socio-technical transitions and then explores geographers’ responses to this approach. The chapter selectively refers to empirical research into innovation processes in personal mobility in several UK cities – Oxford, Brighton, Liverpool and London. This research relies on document analysis; interviews with local entrepreneurs, policymakers, politicians and activists; and limited mobile ethnography. It recognises that ‘innovation’ is a polysemic, value-laden term and uses the deliberatively broad description of a configuration of heterogeneous elements – technical artefacts, designs, practices of consumption, business models, etcetera – that is new(ish) to an arbitrarily defined area.

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  • Tim Schwanen, Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK (Author)

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Schwanen, 2016

Schwanen, T. (2016) "Chapter 12 Innovations to Transform Personal Mobility" In: Hopkins, D. & Higham, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3302


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