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Marc Dijk, Anique Hommels, and Manuel Stoffers

cycling formed a major transformation of urban mobility between the early 1950s and the 1980s, 22 but how did they coevolve and how did this transformation unfold? These questions have not been specifically addressed in previous studies, which have mostly

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Emma Terama, Juha Peltomaa, Catarina Rolim, and Patrícia Baptista

speeding up the mobility transition, we will need to reconcile and enhance the collective transport and personal mobility axes of urban mobility. Giorgio Ambrosino and colleagues 4 propose as a solution enhancing integrated and Patricia Baptista and “open

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Anxious Mobilities

A Visual Inquiry into Pandemic Disruptions of Urban Railway Mobilities in Tokyo

Christoph Schimkowsky

essay zooms in on urban mobilities that, at least partially, withstood the decelerating effect of virus-induced societal transformations. As a visual inquiry into the experiences of commuters on Tokyo's railway network during the city's first “state of

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Dhan Zunino Singh

Cresswell, Gendered Mobilities (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008), 1. 10 John Urry, Mobilities (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007); Ole Jensen, “Flows of Meaning, Cultures of Movements: Urban Mobility as Meaningful Everyday Life Practice,” Mobilities 4, no. 1

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Sarah Frohardt-Lane

This article considers recent scholarship on the social dimensions of mass transit in the United States. It focuses on historical struggles to make urban conveyances serve the public and demonstrates that access to mass transit has been continually contested through legal challenges, economic boycotts, and everyday practice.

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Tension between Fast and Slow Mobilities

Examining the Infrastructuring Processes in Brussels (1950–2019) through the Lens of Social Imaginaries

Claire Pelgrims

This article analyzes the dialectic of fast and slow mobilities as a continuous tension, since the mid-twentieth century, characterized by three evolutions of the functional, phenomenological, and social dimensions of mobility infrastructure and practices in Brussels, Belgium. It is based on the content analysis of diverse “embodiments” of social imaginaries: mobility infrastructures, narratives and sensory-motor behaviors, and images, movies, and photographs. It casts light on the great triple evolution of (1) the scale of the designed city; (2) the limits between spaces devoted to speed, slowness, and overlaps; and (3) the promoted aesthetics in terms of atmospheres and urban experience. These developments strongly relate to the changing meaning of slow and fast mobilities and to a broader change in the societal relationship to space and time.

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When One Becomes Two

Man–Machine Hybridization in Urban Cyclists with Broken Bikes

Lou Therese Brandner

Abstract

In the Netherlands, where cycling is part of the “national habitus,” bicycle infrastructure is remarkably similar to car infrastructure. This article explores man–machine hybridization in the context of this spatial environment made for bikes, analyzing it through notions of human/nonhuman hybrids, cyborg bodies, and automobilized persons. The perceptions of urban cyclists who temporarily cannot cycle are explored, based on interviews with bike repair shop customers in Amsterdam. How does a broken bike impact their perception of themselves and the city? Within the sample, cyclists attribute an essential, corporeal value to their vehicles, regarding them as extensions of the body. Cycling is considered the natural way of moving through urban space, associated with freedom and independence; switching to public transportation induces feelings of dependence and handicap.

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M. Maksudur Rahman and Md. Assadekjaman

Rickshaw pullers are key to sustaining urban mobility in Dhaka city. Yet they are among the most marginalized members of society. Pullers live in precarious urban environments and struggle to rise out of a chronic poverty trap. In their work they face the daily challenges of restrictions on their activities, harassment from passengers and the traffic police, traffic jams and accidents. This article explores the factors which contribute to the unsustainable lifestyles of rickshaw pullers in Dhaka city. It suggests that rickshaw pullers might be supported better through licenses, economic incentives, and by prioritizing their contribution to improving Dhaka's traffic system.

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Andra B. Chastain

Nearly three decades ago, a French-trained urban planner remarked that “getting around any Latin American city is a true quotidian feat” for travelers contending with “the subways of Caracas, the packed lines of the Mexico metro, the Santiago journeys without any foreseeable destination, the crammed La Paz truffis [cars with fixed routes], the dangerous Lima micro[buses], and the ups-and-downs of central Quito.” While this description evokes the colorful spectrum of urban mobility in the region, it also sums up the anxieties of many postwar observers of Latin American cities: urban transportation seemed to be in crisis. With vehicle shortages, traffic congestion, air pollution, and sporadic social protests, public transportation tested Latin American metropolises since at least the postwar era.

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Laura Frahm

More than any other recent urban film, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful (MX/ES 2010) proposes a poignant commentary on the present conditions of a multi-ethnic yet racially segregated city, which is organized by different levels of mobility. Rather than being a tragedy, tracing the last months of Uxbal, a man who, in the face of his impending death, struggles to ensure a sheltered life for his two children, Biutiful can be conceived as a cinematic critique of the city. It offers a distinct contribution to the discourse on urban mobility, since it meticulously deciphers the urban conditions of an emerging new mobility spurred by a permanent quest for adaptability: a complex, contradictory mobility I would like to call a “forced flexible mobility.” In highlighting both the unequal distribution of space and its constant re-appropriation by different ethnic and social groups, this mobility tackles the contradictory status of a “flexible human being” forced into continuous transformation.