Most research into road safety in Europe has focused chiefly on public action, without closely examining the role of car manufacturers or their coordination with public initiatives. This article explores how manufacturers transitioned from a fragmented conception of road safety in the 1970s—with vehicles being the responsibility of manufacturers, and prevention and roads that of institutions—to an increasingly integrated approach in the twenty-first century. The study uses industry archives to present manufacturer strategies from 1972 onward, which at first exclusively focused on vehicle safety standards. After 1986, the European Year of Road Safety, manufacturers’ official discourse increasingly stressed user education, as opposed to technical improvements to the product. Th is article will use the French case, as well as a more European approach to the automobile lobby in Brussels, to chart the gradual emergence of an integrated approach to safety combining the vehicle, infrastructure, and user behavior.
From a Fragmented to an Integrated Approach in France and Europe (1972–1998)
Incorporating Indigenous Pedestrians on Colonial Roads in 1920s and 1930s French Indochina
In Colonial Indochina, the introduction of motorized transportation led French authorities to focus their attention on the issue of pedestrian walking. The political and economic imperatives of the colonial state shaped the modern phenomenon of traffic, which isolated the indigenous body as a sign of otherness. The unruly indigenous pedestrian expressed a discursive and experiential crisis that questioned colonialism itself. This article invites us to examine the political potential of walking by considering Henri Lefebvre's notion of dressage and its limitations in a colonial setting through various examples, from French accounts of indigenous walking in daily activities to political disruptions of traffic by pedestrian demonstrators and the incorporation of indigenous bodies in road safety policies. Repeatedly, colonial subjects eluded, criticized, or undermined the rules of the road and the colony by the simple act of walking.
June 2013 saw the completion of a project to transform the riverside expressway on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris into a pedestrian promenade, accompanied by a series of leisure and recreation features. This article critiques that project as a purely cosmetic measure for the prestigious city centre, decrying both its underlying ideology and its unintended consequences, and raising questions concerning the new urban quality of life and the moralization of mobilities.
An Exhibit Review of New York's
Tracy Nichols Busch
An abandoned freight track on Manhattan’s West Side, considered by local businesses to be nothing more than an eyesore and an impediment to development, became the cause célèbre of New Yorkers in the early twenty-first century. Efforts to “save the High Line” resulted in one of the largest creations of public space in New York history. The 8.8 metertall High Line, which stretches 12 blocks between Ganesvoort Street and 20th Street, features both permanent and temporary art installations that inform visitors of their movement through space and its implication for the natural and constructed worlds. A post-industrial yearning for a more harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world can be detected in New Yorkers’ affection for the High Line. The elevated nature of this raised railroad track creates an ethereal and otherworldly sensation. The traffic below becomes an abstraction and pedestrians, always vulnerable on the streets, are lifted above the fray.
Tom Hall and Robin Smith
This article considers welfare and the city and the ways in which pedestrian practices combine in the management and production of urban need and vulnerability as manifest in the experience and supervision of urban homelessness. The article combines writings on urban maintenance and repair with recent anthropological work on wayfaring (in which cities seldom figure). Fieldwork undertaken with rough sleepers, welfare workers and city managers in the city of Cardiff , Wales, provides the empirical basis. The main body of the article is organized around three walks through the centre of Cardiff with individuals variously implicated in care, repair and welfare in the city. In closing we assert the importance of a politics of street welfare in city space.
Sevasti-Melissa Nolas and Christos Varvantakis
In this article we develop the idea of ethnography as a practice of desire lines. Lines of desire are pedestrian footpaths that are at once amateurish and playful, and that deviate from the grids and schemes of urban planners. We argue that ethnography has always been so at the same time as also being highly professionalized. The article explores these tensions between desire lines and professionalization as they became evident to us during a funded, international multi-modal ethnographic study with children—a study, we argue, that rendered us childlike. We conclude that being childlike and ‘out of line’ is an appropriate and necessary response for knowledge creation at a time of heightened professionalization in the academy.
Aslı Çırakman, From the ‘Terror of the World’ to the ‘Sick Man of Europe’: European Images of Ottoman Empire and Society from the Sixteenth Century to the Nineteenth Alexander Drace-Francis
Reuben Ellis, Vertical Margins: Mountaineering and the Landscapes of Neoimperialism Fergus Fleming, Killing Dragons: A History of Alpine Exploration Jim Ring, How the English Made the Alps Marguerite Helmers
George Forster, A Voyage Round the World Tim Fulford
Helen Gilbert and Anna Johnston (eds) In Transit: Travel, Text Jonathan Skinner
Robin Jarvis, Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel Simon Kovesi
Jonathan Lamb, Vanessa Smith and Nicholas Thomas (eds), Exploration and Exchange: a South Seas Anthology, 1680–1900 Nicholas Thomas and Richard Eves (eds) Bad Colonists: the South Seas Letters of Vernon Lee Walker and Louis Becke Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Nicholas Shakespeare, Bruce Chatwin Serge Gruzinski
Raghubir Singh, A Way into India Shamoon Zamir
Cycling, Traffic Policy, and Spatial Conflicts in Stockholm, circa 1980
This article employs a social practice approach to analyze the boom and bust of cycling in Stockholm around 1980, in the context of broader socioeconomic trends and under the influence of new cyclists, bicycle innovation, and local traffic policy. Within a predominantly car-based city traffic regime, which rendered some mobility practice more legitimate than others, measures intended for cyclists were taken at the expense of pedestrians rather than motorists. Because of a blend of more cyclists, faster bicycles, and design choices based on the car as norm, the image of the cyclist transformed from that of the victim (of automobility) to the villain, and, for this reason, cycling was less easily supported by local politicians. Combined with the second wave of automobility in the 1980s, bicycle policy and planning lost its steam, and cycling declined.
a Provisional Survey
This international overview focuses on the conflict between drivers and non- drivers in Britain, France, the United States, Germany, and Sweden during the interwar period. It suggests that on neither side of the Channel did pro-pedestrian movements make a major impact on national safety legislation. In the U.S.A. automobile-manufacturing interest groups undermined what they perceived to be threatening neighborhood opposition to the onward rush of the automobile. In Germany, which had earlier experienced high levels of anti-car activity, Hitler-inspired commitment to modernization nevertheless led, by the mid-1930s, to the consolidation of punitive measures against erring drivers. In Sweden, however, there appears to have been a high degree of complementarity between pro-motorism and policies designed to minimize dangerous driving. The paper concludes that an understanding of this “deviant“ position may be deepened through scrutiny of the values associated with the Swedish Social Democratic Workers' Party (SAP). A similar approach might be applied to the other nations discussed in the article.
Negotiated Being and Urban Jouissance in the Streets of Beirut
Lebanese specificity, cars, pedestrians, and scooters navigate the streets of Beirut in ways that produce a clear sensation of chaos for the uninitiated. One can never take for granted that traffic laws will be obeyed. Cars do not necessarily stop at red