Metromobility and Spatial Justice
Start date : 19 April 2017 00:00
End date : 22 April 2017 00:00
Where : Minneapolis | États-Unis
Hosted by :
Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association
Information sources :
Special Theme “Challenging Enduring Urban Injustices: Race, Ethnicity, Space, and Political Economy”
47th Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association, Minneapolis, April 19-22, 2017
Theresa Enright, University of Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivier Roy-Baillargeon, University of Waterloo, email@example.com
Urbanism in the 21st century is increasingly defined in terms of networks, flows, connectivity, and infrastructure, qualities that are epitomised in systems of mass transit. A focus on bus- and rail-based urban mobility systems, and the regimes of metromobility (Enright 2016) through which they are governed, clarifies questions of how urban and metropolitan space is produced, by and for whom and to what effect. As “political infrastructures” (McFarlane and Rutherford 2008) mass transit systems are imbricated in fundamental questions about who belongs in the metropolis, who is allowed to participate fully in urban activities, who decides how space will be planned and produced, and who gains from urban transformation. While transit-led urbanism promises to cure cities and regions of the woes of automobility through a range of broad environmental, economic, and social benefits, it also has the potential to entrench existing hierarchies and create new forms of urban marginality and exclusion.
Critical mobilities scholarship has effectively illuminated this dual character of mass transit. As it is structured by relationships of power, driven by growth imperatives, and embedded in complex economic dynamics, it will always serve some interests over others. The capacity to be mobile and to choose one’s movements, as well as the decision to “stay put”, are unequally distributed among populations and locations, within and across regions. A lack of mobility capital is also tied up with related exclusions in social, economic and political life (Adey 2010; Jensen 2013; Kaufmann, Bergman and Joye 2004). Indeed, mass metropolitan transit is rife with tensions and problems. Whether the delirious and alienating “non-places” of supermodernity (Augé 2008); the “splintered” networks of premium and subordinate spaces (Graham and Marvin 2001); or the messy conflict-ridden spaces of public interaction that characterise mobile worlds (Urry 2007); transit systems signal the problems and challenges of speed, acceleration, and circulation in global “spaces of flows” (Castells 1996). They are also crucial to the subjective bifurcation of populations into the “kinetic elite” and the “kinetic underclass” (Cresswell 2006; Urry 2007). Contemporary mobility systems are ambivalent: they are symbols of freedom, progress, and prosperity, but they are also central bearers of inequality and domination (Bauman 1998; Cresswell 2010; Massey 1994).
A right to metromobility thus concerns traditional justice issues such as how goods are distributed fairly, but transit also poses new ethical questions about metropolitan democracy, equality and liberty. Viewed through the lens of spatial justice (Soja 2010), a right to metromobility includes not merely the right of individuals to move in conventional ways but, more importantly, the capacity of inhabitants to direct and transform relations of movement and rest and to benefit from common goods. It also involves robust inclusion and participation in collective life, and a flourishing of agency and freedom. Metropolitan transit and mobility systems have thus emerged as important targets and stakes for labour, environmental, anti-racist, and anti-poverty organising.
Taking up these lines of inquiry, we seek to build a conversation around uneven patterns of contemporary metropolitan mobility, transit equity, and spatial justice. We are seeking papers that consider the relationship between metromobility and (in)justice in different empirical contexts and through a variety of epistemological postures and theoretical lenses.
We thus invite papers that intervene in conceptual debates about spatial and mobility justice and those that reconsider the practice of justice through specific contextual engagements. Themes include but are by no means limited to:
- · Transit and environmental justice
- · Transit governance and democracy
- · Transit equity planning
- · Transit activism and social movements
- · Transit access and accessibility
- · Gentrification and transit-oriented development
- · Differentiated experiences of urban mobility
- · Theories of mobility justice
- · Transport labour and the public sector
- · Mass transit and the privatisation of services and space
Please send proposals including titles of up to 150 characters, abstracts of up to 250 words, a list of 5 keywords, as well as the name, affiliation and email address of all authors, to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with “Metromobility and Spatial Justice” as the subject line. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is September 20, 2016.