Edited by Carey Curtis
Chapter 7: Beyond the dilemma: questioning the links between human prosperity and mobility growth
Contemporary mobility practices are unsustainable, but households and firms depend on them. The search for a balance between the two sides of this dilemma advocated by the ‘sustainable mobility paradigm’ is not matched by achievements on the ground. The lack of progress seems rooted in the still tight connection between mobility growth and economic growth, and between economic growth and household welfare and firm viability. In order to question these relationships, this chapter positions the mobility debate within broader discussions about sustainable development and economic growth. A ‘positive growth’ and a ‘negative growth’ economic paradigm are sketched, and their mobility equivalents explored. The challenge for those advocating positive mobility growth is to show how transport technology can sufficiently and timely address persistent environmental and social issues. The challenge for those advocating negative mobility growth is to show how they can break the deep-seated lock-in of incumbent mobility structures and practices.
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