Transformative or incumbent futures? How the future of mobility is imagined in transitions research

Conference: Eu-SPRI Annual Conference, Brighton, 14–16 June 2023

Transportation systems in their current form have proven extremely difficult to transform. Much work has been done to understand the mechanisms that lock in unsustainable systems. One could point to the infrastructure that makes it easier, safer, faster, and more comfortable to drive a car than to use a more sustainable form of transport. Or to the laws and building codes that make it difficult to move away from car-centric planning. But what about the ways in which we imagine the future of mobility? Can the models and assumptions we use to predict or enact desirable, possible, and likely mobility futures also be understood as a barrier to transformative change? These questions were explored through looking at how a transformation-oriented research community imagines the future of mobility.

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