Stepping out of the box of ‘sustainable mobility’ into an interconnected, otherwise mobile world. Seeking a new methodology for the future of mobility planning


  • Kim Carlotta von Schönfeld Western Norway University of Applied Sciences


Mobility, methodology, futures, thinking otherwise




The world today is nearly unthinkable without high levels of mobility – either of oneself, or at least of goods, services and often even families and friends around one (Rosa, 2003). While mobility has arguably been crucial in some form or other throughout the history of humanity (Graeber & Wengrow, 2021), it seems that over time the speed and distance of mobility only keep increasing, and widely dominant economic and social systems are more and more dependent on such mobility (Rosa, 2018). Yet, it is now widely acknowledged that, at least in the current shape, this cannot go on, for reasons as diverse and daunting as human burnout, climate change, biodiversity loss, and more. This research tackles this challenge from the angle of imaginaries of mobility values. Building on existing research on mobility values (von Schönfeld & Ferreira, 2022), and on imaginaries and creative methodologies from diverse fields (e.g. Bina et al., 2020; Derr et al., 2018; O’Neill & Roberts, 2019; Woiwode et al., 2021), this research proposes a methodology for both studying and triggering ways of “thinking otherwise” about the future, and the role of mobility within it (as mobility is key, but can also not be thought without also considering its contexts and diverse purposes, roles and inequalities). More specifically, this research explores the potential of a combination of walking interviews, hand-drawn maps, biographical storytelling, and artistic representation (such as through drawing, poetry, photography, collage or play-doh sculpting) with planners in the field of mobility in Bergen, Norway and Porto, Portugal, to uncover hidden desires and possibilities for a more sustainable, just, and otherwise if not less mobile world. First results from the methodological review and workshops exploring these combined methods in these two cities as part of a Marie-Sklodovska-Curie Fellowship will be shared in this presentation.


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