From May 24th to June 6th 2016

International Mobility Study : what do people want for the future ?

In 2015, the Forum commissioned Obsoco to do an international study on individual aspirations for mobility and future lifestyles, in six countries: Germany, Spain, The United States, France, Japan and Turkey. Underlying this large-scale study was the belief that recognizing and respecting aspirations are necessary conditions for a successful mobility transition.

Belief which is comforted by the fact that the study revealed a strong desire to break with contemporary lifestyles: more than 78% of respondents wants a slower pace lifestyle, and 74% yearns for greater proximity with regard to their activities. Were society to be restructured due to pressing environmental issues, 60% of respondents say they would be willing to give up car and plane travel.

Aspirations for mobility and lifestyles

Research participants : Forum Mobile Lives, L'Obsoco (Research and consulting compagny)

Why do we need utopias? - Malene Freudendal-Pedersen

Video with Malene Freudendal-Pedersen

Eco-districts: the future of the city?

Crossed perspectives by Marleen Kaptein and Bruno Bessis



The Global Middle East in the Age of Speed

Thursday 2 June 2016
Hosted by : Institute for Advance Studies, University of Birmingham
Where : Hornton Grange, 53 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, B15 2TT



mobil.TUM 2016 - Transforming Urban Mobility

Monday 6 June 2016
Hosted by : Mobil.TUM
Where : Oskar von Miller Forum, Munich, Germany


Online purchase and trip reduction: what effects in urban and peri-urban areas?

Video by Frédéric De Coninck

How online purchases differ between urban and peri-urban areas? Do they allow to reduce our movements and their carbon footprint? Frédéric de Coninck, currently Coordinator of the LABEX Urban Futures (Laboratoire d’Excellence Futurs Urbains), uniting the research forces on the city of Paris-Est university exposes the results of two surveys conducted in 2007 and 2012.

For society and technology, the future is hybrid, by Mimi Sheller

Video by Mimi Sheller

Cars are not alone in becoming hybrids in modern cities, according to Mimi Sheller. There is a far broader hybrid future that encompasses technology, town planning and the way individuals are increasingly using social networks on the move.

What is the Mobile Lives Forum ?

Video by Forum Vies Mobiles

Mobile Lives Forum's video presentation

Mobility and climate: a need for action - Kevin Anderson

Video by Kevin Anderson

From the movement of people to the transport of freight, mobility is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore a contributor to climate change. Professor Kevin Anderson assesses where we stand today and the prospects for the future of our mobility.

Changing practices: a key role for temporality and spatiatlity - James Faulconbridge

Video by James Faulconbridge

Governments around the world are looking at ways of encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport, rather than to drive. James Fauconbridge of Lancaster University talks about new research that suggests temporal and spatial issues also need to be considered.

Evacuation: a crucial type of mobility - Peter Adey

Video by Peter Adey

Peter Adey is a professor of Geography at the Royal Holloway University of London. His work lies at the intersection between space, security and mobility. According to him, mobilities of evacuation are crucial and deserve more scrutiny.

Understanding the real reasons why people choose a particular type of transport

Video by Vincent Kaufmann

Over the past 20 years, improvements in public transport, planning and telecommunications systems have helped to significantly reduce people's preference for travel by car. A look at three Swiss cities: Geneva, Lausanne and Bern.

Why do we need utopias? - Malene Freudendal-Pedersen

Video by Malene Freudendal-Pedersen

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, an Associate Professor at Roskilde University in Denmark, discusses how utopias can play a practical role in achieving the longer-term objective of a more sustainable mobility.

Mobile Politics – Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Governing Mobilities in Munich

Video by Sven Kesselring

German sociologist Sven Kesselring discusses the importance of collaboration and reflexivity among different stakeholders when designing the present and future urban environment for sustainable mobility. The city of Munich provides a valuable case study.

What future for the car?

Video by Hans Jeekel

A former politician himself, Hans Jeekel, says politicians are not interested in tackling the long-term issues of car mobility and the underlying social evolution required to bring about change. They should start, he says, by getting rid of rush hour.

Urban planning and the ICT Toolbox

Video by Ole B. Jensen

Mobile technologies are not only changing the way we live, but are also making a pressing case to be included in the criteria for urban planners and architects. Ole Jensen sets out the argument for a more networked approach to city design.

Treasure islands: hidden offshore worlds

Video by John Urry

The idealism of a borderless world has been replaced by a picture of dark secrets, crime and unfettered capitalism.

Crossed perspectives

Questioning art and social science crossovers

Crossed perspectives by Ursula Biemann and Valérie Pihet

Valérie Pihet and Ursula Biemann discuss the crossovers between artistic creation and scholarly research in the field of mobility. Either working together, or in parallel, these two disciplines have a significant contribution to make in terms of the public debate.

Changing behaviour for a low-carbon future

Crossed perspectives by Matt Watson and Frédéric De Coninck

British geographer Matt Watson and French sociologist Frédérick De Coninck discuss the role that practices should play in the reduction of our carbon footprint. Can taking better account of people’s daily constraints be the key to developing more effective politics and hastening the transition towards a low-carbon mobility?

Internet, territories and centralities

Crossed perspectives by Benjamin Bayart and Boris Beaude

Boris Beaude, a geographer, and Benjamin Bayart, an engineer and ardent supporter of freedom of expression, discuss the tensions that have arisen concerning the internet, the main platform for virtual mobility. Designed as something without a centre, which could not be fully controlled and would free people from regional limitations, the internet seems unable to deliver on these promises – as a result of pre-existing constraints.

Neo-nomads and highly mobile people

Crossed perspectives by Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin & Emmanuel Ravalet and Maude Reitz & Yves Pedrazzini

Four researchers assess the traits and similarities of and the differences between the subjects of their respective fields of study: neo-nomads, the focus of the ‘noLand’s man’ research project, and high mobility as studied in the framework of the JobMob investigation.

Eco-districts: the future of the city?

Crossed perspectives by Marleen Kaptein and Bruno Bessis

A Dutch expert in urban development, who founded one of her country’s leading eco-district projects, discusses the future of eco-districts with a French specialist in sustainable development. Could such areas be the key to city life in the future?


Multi-Level Perspective and Theories of Practice: a mistaken controversy?

Controversie between Dale Southerton, Matt Watson

In the thriving field of sustainability transitions an interesting discussion has flourished concerning the respective merits of, and the relationship between, two analytical schemes known as multi-level models of innovation and theories of social practice.

What metropolitan transport for Los Angeles?

Controversie between Lucile Waquet, Jean Leveugle

What transportation policy to be developed in a sprawling and segregated city like Lose Angeles? What place should the car have? Is it better to favor the subway network or the bus network? And for which objectives: economic (competitiveness, employment, etc.), environmental (reducing pollution and the consumption of fossil resources) and/or social (the fight against social and racial inequality)?

Is transport infrastructure responsible for economic development?

Controversie between Rémy Prud’Homme, Jean-Marc Offner, Emmanuel Ravalet

Put in this way, the answer seems fairly obvious. And yet, it is an important debate that continues – even today. Indeed, in local political milieus it is still common to hear talk of the need to build highways to improve access to regions, thus allowing for their development. From where does this stance originate?

Compactness as a response to environmental issues?

Controversie between Jacques Lévy, Philippe Estèbe

“There remains a source of divergence among contributors: the preferred urban model for resolving the problems of congestion and pollution linked to the rise of urban mobilities. The opposition, which one might have thought we had left behind, between supporters of more compact towns and cities … and those who believe in a more diffuse urban environment, continues to flare up.”

Forum meetings

Mobile Lives Forum meetings

Making of identities and movement control in transit places

After a 2015 that challenged our mobility systems (terrorist attacks, refugee crisis, COP 21, etc.), the Mobile Lives Forum proposes exploring the question further by looking at one of the key emblems of movement in our society: transit areas. How do they work? What role do they play? How will they be affected by contemporary security, political, social and environmental challenges? Tim Cresswell, mobility theorist and professor at Northeastern University in Boston, and Mikaël Lemarchand, Eurostar station manager, answer these questions.


Videos: sustainable mobilities in peri-urban areas?

This Meeting saught to question the image of peri-urban areas as unlivable unbearable and without qualities or urbanness. Researchers, professionals and artists defended their views of the different lifestyles these areas give birth to and potential they offer in terms of sustainable mobility. The audience was invited to actively participate in the discussion.

You can now watch (again) the two days of the Meetings – or thirty videos displaying the speeches, discussions and debates which occured between practitioners, researchers and artists from the entire world, questioning the conventional wisdom about peri-urban areas.


The Thrill of Rail

Literature is, among other things, a source of knowledge, so we looked to two French-language writers for whom the train is an essential part of their storytelling, and staged readings from their novels. Also taking part in the evening were a writer and critic, academics and SNCF professionals. All these points of view helped to broaden our understanding of railroad mobility.

Mobile Lives Forum meetings

Sustainable mobilities in peri-urban areas?

This Meeting sought to question the image of peri-urban areas as unliveable, unbearable and without qualities or urbanness. Researchers, professionals and artists defended their views of the different lifestyles these areas give birth to and potential they offer in terms of sustainable mobility. The audience has been invited to actively participate in the discussion.

> Please clic here to view the meeting's vidéo.

Maison Rouge : 10 Boulevard de la Bastille,  75012, Paris


The Mobility of Tomorrow: Theses and controversies

May 26th & 27th, 2011

at the Maison Rouge (Paris-Bastille)


with 110 mobility scholars and practitioners



These first “Theses and Controversies” were also the occasion for an exhibition of books by artists and photographers whose work is founded on mobile artistic processes.

Our latest publication - Post Petroleum

Oil is fundamental to life in contemporary societies. And yet, reserves will be depleted within a few decades. What impact will this have on the way we live and move in the future?

In this original book-object, John Urry imagines what will become of ‘disconnected’ societies, by formulating four ‘post-oil’ scenarios.


Aspirations for mobility and lifestyles

Research participants : Forum Mobile Lives, L'Obsoco (Research and consulting compagny)

While the question of the sustainability of contemporary lifestyles is the focus of the Mobile Lives Forum’s research program, it alone is not sufficient: individuals’ aspirations must likewise be taken into account.

Mobility and job hunting: a digital barrier?

Research participants : Christian Licoppe, Dana Diminescu, Hélène-Marie Juteau , Julien Morel

What if inequalities of access and use of digital technologies also gave rise to inequalities relative to mobility? This is the question raised by Dana Diminescu, Hélène-Marie Juteau, Christian Licoppe and Julien Morel in their study of Saint-Denis jobseekers’ exceptional mobility practices. Over the course of two years, the Mines ParisTech researchers will follow 30 jobseekers, in order to understand if and how the use of mobility apps sets people apart in terms of exceptional mobility practices for job seeking.

Sex, Love and Geolocation : a sociological study of Tinder

Research participants : Christian Licoppe, Laurent Camus, Julien Morel

While our romantic encounters used to take place casually in public places, our mobile apps now allow us to manage our encounters from a distance and throughout the day. The pace of our romantic meetings has changed; the importance of bars and cafes has declined while our daily routes have taken on a new significance because of geolocation based matchmaking. The project Sex, Love and Geolocation aims at exploring the synergies between Tinder’s design, the mobilities brought about by the app, and the types of encounters and urban sociability it gives rise to.

Marche à suivre - Eysines

Research participants : Lucas Delafosse, Stéphane Malek

Lucas Delafosse and Stéphane Malek devised and tested measures designed to promote walking, in combination with public transport, in a town in the greater Bordeaux area.

Last comments

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Long hours spent traveling to and from work are subtly changing the way people experience, feel, apprehend and live their lives, especially in a …

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