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Accepted Paper:

Reinventing the city: mobility, borders and justice  
Zane Datava (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the shared dockless e- scooters as a case of urban digitalization where questions of mobility, transformed use of the city, as well as questions of spatial (in-) justice are explored.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on perspectives from urban anthropology and technology and science studies (STS), the main aim of this paper is to trace the social relationships behind digitalization of urban mobility. Sociotechnical innovations change the interaction and experience of urban life, and shape new borders and conflicts, as not everyone accepts the new form of mobility in the same way. The digitalization of everyday life raises questions about use of space, trajectories of movement, time and surveillance. What and whose imaginaries influence urban planning? How is the landscape of the city and consequently, our lived everyday life, changing?

Without doubt, electric scooters add to digitization of urbanity and mobility. The moving is embodied and emplaced practice. Pierre Bourdieu (1977) placed the bodily dispositions on the habitus, Tim Ingold and Jo Lee Vergunst (2008) argued that walking is not only a way of social life, but that walking, in fact, enables it. What changes if we choose electric scooter instead of walking or instead of a bicycle?

Another aspect to consider are protests towards e - scooters and their consequent destruction, as an answer to their taking up of the common space. The question of whose space and who can (and can’t) use it, arise and I propose to look at it through the lens of spatial justice. Edward Soja wrote that “the spatiality of (in)justice […] affects society and social life just as much as social processes shape the spatiality or specific geography of (in)justice (Soja 2010a: 5).

Panel Urb06
Living, reinterpreting and transgressing smart cities
  Session 1 Thursday 24 June, 2021, -