A sense of momentum: mobility practices and dis/embodied landscapes of energy use
This research examines how the commute practices of driving, cycling, and walking shape individuals’ sense of mobility energy use. Some scholars argue that different modes of mobility produce different ways of knowing the world. For instance, automobiles are accused by some of alienating their drivers, whereas others see the human-machine hybrids they create as inherently connecting. This paper is founded upon an epistemological position that sees knowledge as developed through sensual interactions with environments and held, sometimes inexpressibly, within the body. Transportation technologies, both as part of a person’s environment and as an extension of themselves, mediate these interactions. The research draws on in-depth interviews with drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians commuting in the City of Vancouver, and their commute narratives and GPS logs, to compare the sense of energy use between mode users. Participant senses explored include the feeling of momentum, changes in elevation, and stopping. Data analyses reveal active-mode users’ nuanced and sometimes tacit awareness of energy use, and how this embodied knowledge both consciously and unconsciously informs their mobility. The efficiencies gained through this tacit knowing should be recognized alongside the more common ‘neotechnological’ approaches to transportation energy conservation, and accounted for in planning, public policy, and law. Keywords: mobility, sustainability, transportation, energy, human ecology, embodiment, landscapes
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:7:p:1661-1678. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.