Trespassing for mobilities. Operational directions for addressing mobile lives


Trespassing for mobilities. Operational directions for addressing mobile lives
Author Paola Puccia; Giovanni Vecchio
Line(s) Access and Mobility
Year of Publication 2019
Journal Title Journal of Transport Geography
Trespassing; Mobilities studies; Transport geography; Transport planning; Interdisciplinarity; Long distance commuters
Abstract Transport geography and mobilities studies share the same object of study – mobility – which nonetheless has been differently conceptualized by the two disciplinary fields. This difference impacts their analytical, interpretative and operational approaches as well as their actual contribution to transport planning, so that despite their proximity, mobility studies and transport geography still appear as bordering disciplinary fields. To deal with concerns that affect the way we address urban mobility issues, the paper suggests putting into practice what the heterodox economist Albert Hirschman famously called trespassing, as a tactic to cross disciplinary boundaries and progress with some puzzles through detours and forays into other fields. In doing so, the paper aims at exploring how trespassing enhances the way mobilities studies and transport geography may usefully cross-fertilize each other and enhance operational responses to mobility issues, by analysing the conceptual and operational innovations that could benefit from such a reciprocal interchange. To discuss forms of significant trespassing for mobilities, the paper proposes to detect and address emerging forms of everyday mobility, taking long distance commuters (LDC) in the Milan Urban Region as an example. Here, trespassing allows the merging of quantitative and qualitative datasets to understand the articulated nature of this and other forms of contemporary mobilities. Working on the interpretative and operational challenges posed by these emerging mobilities that question key principles of the traditional ‘utilitarian approach’ to transport planning, the paper discusses the conceptual, analytical and operational directions along which trespassing may be developed.
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