Arve Hansen’s excellent PhD thesis on the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi is available here bit.ly/2MJEPOU. Thanks to Javier Caletrío <email@example.com> and our friiends at the UTSG for the heads-up and to the Mobile Lives Forum for the following texte excerpts from their summary presentation at </firstname.lastname@example.org>http://bit.ly/2Np3BJB
1. What is your research topic? What thesis are you defending?
* Interview with the author, Arve Hansen of the Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo.
My overall research topic is consumption and development, and I am particularly interested in changing consumption patterns in contexts of rapid social and economic changes. In my PhD thesis I studied the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi. In other words, I studied a transition from very low-carbon mobilities to high-carbon mobilities. I approached the topic at the intersection between macro-scale processes of economic development and everyday mobility practices. And in Vietnam’s capital city, understanding contemporary mobilities first and foremost requires an understanding of the motorbike, a so far surprisingly understudied vehicle in the mobilities turn.
We often hear that transportation reform is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.
To get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all. These approaches are not just “nice ideas”. They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in your city. Starting tomorrow morning.
(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)
Walking to school
The following reproduces the full text of John Whitelegg’s opening chapter of his book, Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Straw Barnes Press. September 1, 2015. For further background on the 2018 online New Mobility Master Class program of which focuses on this introduction in the opening session, refer to: “Mobility, Death and Injury. (Let’s see what John Whitelegg has to say about this.)” at https://wp.me/psKUY-59l
In the 1950s as a primary school child in Oldham (UK) I had very limited mobility measured in terms of the number of miles I ranged over each week. Life was intensely focused on the locality, intense contact with other children who lived within 500 metres of my home, and intense outdoor play for as many hours as my parents would allow (usually more than they would allow). We children decided when to go out, where to go, with whom and what to play and from an early age acquired a great deal of proficiency in negotiation skills, dispute resolution and independent decision-taking.
Life was very good, full and rich and the low level of mobility contributed to that richness. Time that might have been spent in a car being taken to organized “things” was put to good use in ways we decided. We did not need to roam very far from home and we enjoyed our local streets, second world war air-raid shelters (dark, dirty and mysterious) and large amounts of untidy urban space.
This posting is intended for informal peer review and comment here on World Streets in the context of a new international collaborative program of New Mobility Master Classes in the making for 2018. The text that follows is taken directly from Chapter 3 of John Whitelegg’s well-received 2015 book Mobility A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future. We thank Professor Whitelegg for making these valuable materials available to our readers. Let’s have a look.
- Mobility, Death and Injury (Chapter 3.)
- Selected references
- About the authors
- Mobility: Table of Contents
- How to obtain the book
- Supporting materials from World Streets
- Supporting pages from FaceBook
- Reader comments