Edited by Moshe Givoni and David Banister
Chapter 2: Mobility cultures
The start of the twenty-first century is marked by high levels of mobility: people, capital, finance, technology, commodities, ideas and information as well as risks and disasters are increasingly recognized as being ‘on the move’. As noted in Chapter 1, more people are travelling further to reach places of employment, education, health, leisure and other activities and there is a general consensus on the need for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, especially from transport. Strategies are being developed by governments and especially by companies in the energy and automobile sector in order to overcome the consequences of this situation. However, the main criticism towards this approach is that such measures solely cannot reduce the negative impacts of transport on climate, and more drastic changes are required. Banister (2008) proposes the sustainable mobility paradigm as a way forward to solving the problems that we are facing, arguing that there is a crucial need for a change especially in the way in which people travel and how much they travel. In the above context, the purpose of this chapter is to understand the role of the culture of performing mobilities in influencing the way in which people travel and how much they travel, and to find out whether there is a need to reformulate our ‘mobility cultures’ in order to build a low carbon society. First, the new mobilities paradigm is briefly reviewed.
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