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From 7 February to 20 February 2018

Changing perception of the mobility of the poor

La Mondialisation par le bas

Essential reading by Lamia Missaoui

Is mobility the answer to poverty ?

Crossed perspectives by Leslie Belton Chevallier and Giulio Mattioli


Conference session

Mobile Phones, Travel and Transportation

Wednesday 27 June 2018
Hosted by : NECTAR at Mobile Tartu international conference
Where : Järveveere Holiday Centre, 55 km north-west from Tartu (25.964772E, 58.363061N).


Conference session

IGU 2018: Effects of transport investment on regeneration and social inclusion

Monday 6 August 2018
Hosted by : International Geographical Union
Where : Université Laval 2325, rue de l'Université Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6

Southern Diaries

Dynamics of Movement in Argentina’s Sweatshop Economy

Authors : Matias Dewey, Katherine Walker, Sarah Pabst

Three times per week, traffic on the old railway bridge across the Riachuelco in Buenos Aires is dominated by a constant stream of long distance buses. The passengers have traveled hundreds of miles from every corner of Argentina, and from neighboring Paraguay, Brazil and Chile. Unable to afford the plane fare, a one- or two-hour flight turns into ten, twenty, even thirty hours by bus. The bridge, finally, signals the end of their journey: on the other side of the oily, junk-filled river, a huge parking lot welcomes visitors to La Salada, Latin America’s largest low-cost garment marketplace.

Young people's daily mobilities in sub-Saharan Africa

Authors : Gina Porter

Have you ever considered the massive importance that mobility plays in determining young people’s lives and life chances? Given the crucial role of transport, could practitioners’ and policy makers’ interventions in this arena help change young lives for the better?

The motorcycle taxis of Lomé: sounding boards for social and political movements

Since 1992, the motorcycle taxi phenomenon has reached an unprecedented scale in Togolese capital, a city stricken by poverty and important mobility issues. This so-called "informal" mode of urban transportation is a response to the lack of reliable public transportation service, allowing urban dwellers to access services, shops, etc. and thus stay in the city. Beyond questions of travel and transportation, Lomé’s motorcycle taxis have actually created a new type of public space, from which researchers can observe social relations. They are also used by political parties for processions.

New voices

The place to be? Living and moving in intermediate spaces: Young people and mobility in peri-urban spaces

Authors : Catherine Didier-Fèvre

Teens living in suburban areas on the outskirts of Île-de-France often seem to be victims of these areas, structured largely by mobility. It therefore seemed pertinent to ask whether being a teenager in a peri-urban area is harder than being one elsewhere – in other words, when they become independent, acquire the skills that allow them to get around by themselves and explore new places not under parental supervision in the company of their peers.

The Politics of Conviviality: Mobility and the Right to the City in Bogotá's Bicycle Advocacy

Authors : Paola Castañeda

In Bogota, there exists an ever-growing number of citizen's groups that gather around the bicycle with a multiplicity of aims and approaches, taking it upon themselves to develop initiatives that make visible the varied ways in which this vehicle mobilises both people and ideas. This research examines bicycle activism (“biketivism”) in order to understand how biketivists attempt to take back the city from the motor vehicle, and challenge the dominant order on city streets.

The influence of work-related travel on highly-mobile peoples practices and representations of space

Authors : Magali de Raphélis

In recent decades, globalization and the development of high-speed transport have given rise to a new type of travel: short-term business travel. Goods trade, knowledge and know-how often function at the international scale, and many people are now obliged to make long-distance work-related trips. The reasons for these trips vary, but their duration is usually short, ranging from a day to a week. Some jobs require frequent business travel, from one to several times a month. We call the individuals concerned "highly mobile" or "hypermobile.”

What are the alternatives to the personal vehicle in Greater Paris?

Video by Jean-Pierre Orfeuil

The car is one of the preferred modes of transport for those who reside in the Paris region. What are the alternatives strategies to reduce the use of cars in Greater Paris? Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, a specialist in urban mobility, examines the question.

Living a maximum of 30 minutes from work: the hypothesis of a "coherent city"

Video by Jean-Pierre Orfeuil

What measures should be taken to reduce the distance between work and home to a maximum of 30 minutes? What changes should be made? What challenges to overcome? Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, specialist in urban mobility, talks to us about the conclusions of his study which aims to transform the Paris region into a “coherent city.”

A child’s education: the hidden challenge for mobile families

Video by Catherine Doherty

How does mobility affect the urban/rural divide and what are the factors that influence a family’s decision to be more or less mobile? Catherine Doherty, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology, discusses two recent studies that shed new light on both these issues.

The general trend towards liberal logics and neoliberal logics in transition policy

Video by Peter Adey

According to Peter Adey, there is a general trend towards liberal and neoliberal logics in transition policy. An emphasis is being placed on trying to shift the responsibility to individuals and on market-based solutions that can be exported elsewhere.

Thinking the future of car mobility

Video by Kate G. Reese

Automobility is a cornerstone of American life. But what are its future prospects in an era of climate change and depleting natural resources? America is at a crossroad between acceleration, rebuilding and transition, explains Kate Reese.

Transitioning toward low-carbon mobility: a holistic approach to transition policy

Video by Tim Cresswell

Dwindling oil reserves and massive greenhouse gas emissions from transport have led Tim Cresswell, head of the Living in the mobility transition research project, and his team on a worldwide search for policies and practices that could help spur the transition toward a low-carbon future. Here he shares some early insights from the project on the way forward for a mobility transition.

Mobility, motility: What determines our ability to move?

Video by Vincent Kaufmann

Defining mobility involves both understanding the connection between movement and social change and determining what factors influence our skills for moving through the concept of motility. Vincent Kaufmann brings us up to speed.

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

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

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 Faulconbridge of Lancaster University talks about new research that suggests temporal and spatial issues also need to be considered.

Is mobility the answer to poverty ?

Crossed perspectives by Leslie Belton Chevallier and Giulio Mattioli

Is access to employment, services and leisure merely a matter of mobility for the most disadvantaged? What are the obstacles and alternatives? These are some of the questions Leslie Belton Chevallier and Giuilio Mattioli attempt to answer.

Motility and viscosity: a new understanding of mobility for better policy making

Crossed perspectives by Vincent Kaufmann and Catherine Doherty

Through the study of mobility practices in Australia and European countries, sociologists Catherine Doherty and Vincent Kaufmann develop two different but complementary analyses of mobility potential on an individual and contextual level. Will these new concepts help further our understanding of mobility practices and renew public action in very different national contexts? Both authors feel this will be the case and explain why.

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 of practices in reducing our carbon footprint. Can taking into account people’s daily constraints more seriously be the key to developing more effective policies and hastening the transition towards 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.

The future of cars: triumph or decline?

Controversie between Francis Papon , Mathieu Flonneau

Over the last decade, the future of cars has been at the heart of controversy that has been the subject of numerous prospective studies. This controversy is not about the need for an energy transition – whose advent is no longer a subject of debate - but more about the role of cars in the future. Should the use of cars be called into question? What policies should be implemented? What should the role of cars be?

Living environments and leisure mobility: challenging the compact city

Controversie between Sébastien Munafò, Marc Pearce (Forum Vies Mobiles)

Should we advocate for the compact city? Geographer Sébastien Munafò defends the indispensability of this model, particularly for its environmental qualities and the urbanity it fosters. Marc Pearce of the Mobile Lives Forum, on the other hand, feels it is crucial to consider, instead, many lifestyles in presence in city areas such as Geneva or Zurich and the diversity of living environments they require.

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 about the merits of and relationship between two analytical approaches, 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 develop in a sprawling, segregated city like Los Angeles? What place to give the car? Is it better to favor the subway network or the bus network? And why – economic reasons (competitiveness, employment, etc.), environmental reasons (reducing pollution and fossil resources consumption) and/or social reasons (the fight against social and racial inequality)?

Mobile Lives Forum meetings


Conference 9th of November, 2017

China's mobility system has been turned completely upside down since the 1980s. Large-scale public investment program in transportation infrastructure, the country's economic boom or changes in state control over travel have all contributed to the extraordinary increase in mobility. In China, the transition from the horse-drawn car to rapid modes of transportation has taken place within the span of a singe generation; versus several generations in Western countries. Amazing.

How do the Chinese experience these changes in their daily lives? What impact has the mobility revolution had on their living environments? What are their dreams for the future?

Mobile Lives Forum meetings

Virtuous mobility: the advantages of the dense city challenged?

The dense city is often lauded as a sustainable and desirable model, particularly given its limiting effect on travel and CO2 emissions and its positive impact on social ties. At the same time, as “barbecue effect” theorists have shown, when we consider the number of kilometers travelled within the framework of long-distance mobility, the mobility of people living outside of cities is, in fact, equal to that of inhabitants of city centers. Is one city model really more virtuous than another? What model do people want? What living environments for tomorrow’s lifestyles?

Conférence du Forum

Lifestyle and Mobility : what aspirations for the future ?

Our lifestyles must greatly change in the future in order to be sustainable, but how to make them desirable? To answer this question, the Forum Vies Mobiles launched an unprecedented international survey on aspirations linked to future lifestyles and mobility. The survey explores pace of life, travel conditions and frequency, work location and duration, ties with family and potential changes due to environmental degradation. The Forum revealed the key results in a conference on June 21, 2016, in Company of Philippe Moati, co-founder of ObSoCo, and film critic, Xavier Leherpeur.

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.

Citizen debate: Driverless vehicles in our future?

Research participants : Missions Publiques, Debate partners (Débat citoyen sur la voiture autonome)

In 5, 10 or 20 years… many predict the more or less rapid but inevitable arrival of driverless vehicles in our lives. But, be it in the city or in the countryside, on the road or in the air, what are citizens’ expectations as regards their spread in France? Given that mobility is at the heart of our lives and changes in our transportation system may be afoot, the question must be raised. At the initiative of Missions Publiques, the Mobile Lives Forum and a dozen other partners have come together to hold citizen debates, which will take place in five different locations in France on January 27th. We see it as an opportunity to do things differently: to find out what people actually want before introducing a new transportation system!

Mobility in China: A Chinese View of 50 Years of Acceleration

Research participants : Jérémie Descamps, Thomas Sauvin, Zhang Chun, Zhou Le, Wang Gongxin, Marie Terrieux, Vincent Kaufmann, Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin, Emmanuel Ravalet, Dominique Desjeux

In 50 years, daily commutes, travel and migration in China have multiplied, lengthened and accelerated at a spectacular speed. A Franco-Chinese team of researchers and artists decided to explore how city dwellers feel about these changes using images as a catalyst for memories, emotions, associations of ideas and reflections. It would appear that this increase in mobility is closely associated with the imaginary of modernity and generates ambivalent feelings, ranging from enthusiasm for change to nostalgia and anxiety.

Ending automobile dependence (periruban and rural mobility)

Research participants : Marie Huyghe, Laurent Cailly, Dominique Andrieu, Hervé Baptiste, Nicolas Oppenchaim, Hervé Baptiste, Denis Martouzet

Data sharing is a key to consolidating scientific methods and knowledge, and notably feeds discussion across opposing viewpoints. However, it is a nascent practice in qualitative research. A team from the Centre for Cities, Territories, Environment and Societies (CITERES) are paving the way with a project to reopen six qualitative studies conducted in peri-urban and rural areas. The project has three objectives: establish a methodological framework to mutualize qualitative data, define the requirements to share data, and provide a renewed analysis. The challenge: gain a better understanding of mobility in sparsely populated areas and identify pathways to ending car dependence.

Connected Refugees

Research participants : 艾未未 (Ai Weiwei)

Since December 2015, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has made the refugee crisis the focus of his work. For more than a year, the artist, commissioned by the Mobile Lives Forum, studied the way they communicate, orient themselves and move using smartphones, which for many has become their most valuable tool for survival. In the virtual exhibition Connected refugees (available on Artistic Lab), you can follow Ai Weiwei and mobility sociologist Mimi Sheller’s art-social science investigation month by month.

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