15 May, 2024, 17:00
HS 150, HCU

Workshop: Past; present and future visions of mobility futures
  • Dr. Till Koglin (Lund University), Dr. Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren (Lund University)

    On the dark side of progress in future mobility: Urban visions in the shadow of automobilization

  • Image © Clara Mross.


    Throughout modernization, mobility has evolved into various commodities, such as bicycles, automobiles, and airplanes, reshaping not only daily transportation but also the societies these means of transport inhabit. Presently, there is a notable push to revolutionize urban transportation systems through innovative endeavours such as automation, electrification, and platform-based services such as e-scooters or car sharing. These transformative processes are often framed within a spectrum ranging from sustainability goals to innovation agendas, depending on the audience. However, they share a common narrative: portraying the relationship between sustainability and innovation as mutually beneficial for the environment and economic growth. In this presentation, we challenge this notion, arguing instead that the intersection of sustainability and innovation in future mobility presents a significant tension and conflict zone – conceptualized here as the dark side of progress in future mobility.

    This presentation underscores the importance of acknowledging and addressing the conflicts between sustainability and innovation goals by politicizing them and recognizing the power dynamics at play. We advocate for the need to develop new and integrated approaches to understanding these conflicts, drawing from critical theory, mobilities research, and principles of epistemic justice. Despite optimistic narratives about potential disruptions in future transportation systems, we argue that current innovations and visions for future mobility are still portrayed and unfolding in the shadow of automobilization, resulting in minimal advancement towards sustainable mobility solutions or tangible change.

    About the lecturers

    Till Koglin is a reader and senior lecturer at Lund University. He has worked in and led various projects related to transport and urban planning, cycling, and mobility. Many of his projects are linked to K2, Sweden’s national centre for research and education on public transport. Till’s research interests relate, on a theoretical level, to mobility, planning, and power theories, and he works in the post-Marxist tradition. A major focus in his research has always been on cycling, cycling planning, and the marginalization of sustainable modes of mobility in planning.

    Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren is a reader and senior lecturer in political science at Lund University. Her research focuses on experimental governance, temporary organizations, and governing through pilots and projects in urban and transport planning, and her empirical studies have included pilot programs with autonomous vehicles and multimodal digital/platform-based mobility solutions. Dalia’s recent publications explore the intersection of critical innovation studies, organization studies, and mobilities debates, examining power relations and processes of inclusion and knowledge production in urban futures.