T2M International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility, 14th T2M Annual Conference 2016 - Mobilities: Space of Flows and Friction

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Mobility transitions, Scarcity and Austerity
Anna Nikolaeva

Last modified: 2016-10-11


This paper critically interrogates the logics of scarcity and austerity that animate ongoing, planned and imaginary mobility transitions. Nation policy makers, local governments and community activists put forward visions of cities and roads that are meant to remedy the scarcity of space, time and clean air. A decrease in mobility-related emissions can be a side effect of these policies or one of the desired (but not necessarily achieved) outcomes. Scarcity of funds or oil, or both, is also known to have stimulated the development of infrastructure for low carbon mobilities. The logics of scarcity, is, thus, on the one hand, almost ubiquitous in transition thinking, but on the other, it rarely targets mobility itself since mobility continues to be rationalised as an enabler of economic growth. The paper proceeds to juxtapose these logics of scarcity with the logics of austerity

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