Project

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Collective cycling mobilisations in South America: the right to the city and the justice of mobility.

English title Collective cycling mobilisations in South America: the right to the city and the justice of mobility.
Applicant Rérat Patrick
Number 190831
Funding scheme Spark
Research institution Institut de géographie et durabilité Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnemen Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.03.2020 - 28.02.2021
Approved amount 56'776.00
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Keywords (4)

Social movement; Right to the city; Cycling; Mobility justice

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
The project focuses on social movements for cycling in Latin American cities. It analyses the demonstrators, their means of action, their claims and the influence of their mobilization on populations and public institutions. It frames these social movement in the debates on the right to the city and mobility justice. The research is also original in terms of methods: in-depth interviews and in situ observations will be carried out during a bicycle trip. This approach inspired by mobile methods makes it possible to better understand the reality on the ground and to consider the bicycle as an embodied practice.
Lay summary

The study covers the cities of Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago de Chile, Quito (Ecuador), Lima (Peru) and Bogota (Colombia). These metropolitan areas follow a relatively convergent urbanization model, which imposes severe constraints on the mobility of their inhabitants. These cities are very large and spread out and generally not very dense. They are marked by a high residential segregation and an uneven spatial distribution of jobs.

Despite the neoliberal shift that saw the authorities withdrew from transport management, these metropolitan areas have carried out ambitious development projects (e.g. Transmilenio in Bogotá in 2001, Transantiago in Santiago in 2007, Quito underground in 2019). There has been an improvement in cycling infrastructure in the centers. At the same time, inequalities in access to mobility have increased as the working classes have been relegated to the periphery.

Cyclists are gradually finding their place in South American cities but must continue their militant actions to claim their place in the city. This refers to what Lefebvre calls the "right to the city" which, more than a right to housing, corresponds to the right to the real appropriation by inhabitants of their lives as city dwellers. The analysis of these cycling movements will highlight a new and more collaborative way of building the city. It is also part of the debate on the just city (Fainstain) and on mobility justice (Sheller).

 
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.01.2020

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Abstract

The project focuses on social movements mobilising for cycling in Latin American cities. In particular, it analyses the demonstrators (socio-economic situation, level of commitment, etc.), their means of action, their claims and the influence of their mobilization on populations and public institutions in a recent context of soft mobility management in this part of the world. The research is not only original in terms of the problem addressed but also in terms of the method used: in-depth interviews and in situ observations will be carried out during a bicycle trip. This approach, inspired by mobile methods (Büscher et al. 2011), makes it possible to better understand the reality on the ground and to take into account the bicycle as an embodied practice (Spiney 2009).The study will cover the cities of Montevideo in Uruguay, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago de Chile, Quito in Ecuador, Lima in Peru and Bogota in Colombia. These metropolitan areas follow a relatively convergent urbanization model, which places severe constraints on the mobility of their inhabitants (Dureau et al., 2015). These are very large, very spread out and generally not very dense cities, marked by high residential segregation and a very uneven spatial distribution of jobs. Moreover, it can be seen that despite the neoliberal shift that saw the authorities withdraw from transport management for a time, these metropolitan areas have carried out ambitious development projects (e.g. Transmilenio in Bogotá in 2001, Transantiago in Santiago in 2007, Quito underground in 2019). There has been an improvement in cycling infrastructure in the centers and at the same time, inequalities in access to mobility have increased as the working classes have been relegated to the periphery (Dureau et al., 2015).In this context of change in South American cities, cyclists are gradually finding their place but must continue their militant actions to claim their membership in the city. This refers to what Lefebvre calls the "right to the city" which, more than a right to housing, corresponds to the right to the real appropriation by inhabitants of their lives as city dwellers, of their living conditions (Lefebvre 1974). Harvey (2008) defines the right to the city as "the collective freedom to shape and reshape our society and our cities".The analysis of these cycling movements will highlight a new, more collaborative way of building the city. It is also part of the debate on a just city that "combines progressive city planners' earlier focus on equity and material well-being with considerations of diversity and participation" (Fainstein 2010). It also refers to the notion of mobility justice that "calls for a new understanding of the politics of movement and a demand for justice for all" (Sheller 2018). In each city, the actors involved in promoting cycling (organisers of the "Critical Mass ",political parties and NGOs) as well as everyday cyclists will be interviewed in order to understand the emergence and actions of movements working for a different way of conceiving the city.
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