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The aim of this PhD study is to address the qualitative dimensions of mobility costs. The basic hypothesis is that mobility is more than a physical phenomenon and has important repercussions on people’s everyday life, social networks, understanding of places and ultimately of themselves and others. Qualitative interviews are performed with households with children in Copenhagen to provide in-depth understanding of their daily activities and travel patterns. By exploring the way people organise their choice of transport mode and route in relation to work, family and social obligations, the study is investigating strategies and rationales behind the organisation of everyday life mobility. The research is looking into the measurement, for example, of risk averseness, variety seeking and passion (e.g., happiness, tiredness), and is determining to what degree and how these traits affects daily activities and travel. The project is using urban ethnographic methodologies and is relating the qualitative interviews to quantitative knowledge gained in other WPs in the ACTUM project to create the opportunity to check often overlooked assumptions in quantitative modelling. Beyond cost and time, people’s social networks and mobility capital become additional explanatory factors. Furthermore, a qualitative perspective on daily travel activities supports a framework appreciating the household unit and not just the individual.

The PhD study was initiated in in April 2011 and the current status is data collection through qualitative interviews in Copenhagen. The status will be updated and reported on a regular basis at the C-MUS blog. The project is nested in the ACTUM project which is a cross disciplinary Strategic Research Alliance hosted by DTU, Denmark. Aalborg University is one of the main research partners. The project is funded from the Danish Strategic Research Council with 21.5 mil. Dkr (approx. 2.86 mil. Euro).

PhD Fellow:
Simon Wind, Institute of Architecture, Design & Media Technology, swin@create.aau.dk

Main supervisor:
Professor Ole B. Jensen, Institute of Architecture, Design & Media Technology, obje@create.aau.dk

Co supervisor:
Associate Professor Claus Lassen, Institute of Planning & Development, claus@plan.aau.dk

Scientific Research Partner:
Professor Mimi Sheller, mCenter, Drexel University US

VBN Project Link