The centre aims to contribute to mobility research at the highest international level. C-MUS contributes to the development of theories, concepts and analytical frameworks of mobility studies as well as working with empirical studies embracing disciplinary approaches from urban studies, ethnography, geography, sociology, consumer studies, media studies, discourse studies, urban design, urban planning and management, city politics, urban traffic planning and engineering, and tourism studies.
The concept of ‘mobilities’ focuses on the complex intersections between diverse forms of physical travel of people; physical movement of matter and objects; virtual travel on the Internet; digital movement of images, messages and information; and communicative travel via text messages, telephones, emails, etc. Mobilities are partly seen as constitutive for the structures that frame social life in society, and it is within these mobilities that cultural patterns, actions, and identities are produced and reproduced. But, at the same time, social structures of different kinds (e.g. economic, political and spatial) are seen as constitutive for the ways in which mobilities develop. The aim of C-MUS is therefore to investigate the social and cultural bases for mobilities, not only focusing on the actual mobility in itself, but also on the potential mobility (motility), and to explore how potential mobility is transformed into different mobilities.
In particular the research undertaken within C-MUS aims at exploring policies and planning approaches to contemporary mobility in urban areas and regions. Furthermore, C-MUS aims at understanding the implications of transformations in mobility patterns for the everyday life of citizens across the world, with particular emphasis on understanding the way infrastructures work together (or against) physical mobility, with repercussions for cultural consumption, social interaction, environmental sustainability and aesthetic quality. In other words, what makes the research done within C-MUS innovative and trans-disciplinary is its ambition to analyse the production (e.g. design, planning and management) and consumption (e.g. use, reworking and resistance) of mobilities within a unified framework.
C-MUS seeks trans-disciplinary collaboration between its members and beyond, and works actively to provide external national and international funding for mobility research projects.
C-MUS research is particularly based on the following questions:
- How are different types of mobilities produced and consumed?
- How do different types of potential mobility transform into actual mobility?
- What types of stratification are related to the production and consumption of mobilities?
- How do people, organisations and societies approach the demand for mobilities?
- What ideas and rationalities of mobilities can be identified?
- What are the sociotechnical dimensions of mobilities?
- What are the driving forces beyond the diverse productions and consumptions of mobilities?
- How do mobility policies relate to mobility practices in everyday life?
- How can mobility futures be explored?
And C-MUS research is particularly focused on the following areas:
- The politics and sociology of mobility
- Everyday life and mobility cultures
- Discourses of mobility and motility
- Public domains and transit spaces
- Technology and urban mobility
- Aeromobility and air spaces
- International business travel and tourism
- Mobility regimes
- Sustainable mobility
- Changing (im)mobilities in a post-hydrocarbon world
- Power, interests and mobility
- Infrastructure and car cultures
- Mobility visions and futures
- Urban development and mobility changes: social structural conditions, power relationships, knowledge bases and decision-making processes
- Economic growth, environmental sustainability and ecological modernization: the case of mobility
- The influences of urban spatial structures on mobility
- Megaproject policy and planning
- Bias in large-scale transport infrastructure planning – causes and cures
- The role of transport modelling tools and cost-benefit analyses in transport infrastructure planning
C-MUS works to create opportunities to discuss and exchange mobility research results at colloquia, research seminars, workshops, and conferences.