Mobility - more than just a buzzword

Let’s face it: the phenomenon of mobility has become the golden calf of the trend and lifestyle creating industry. But there is more to the concept than just a tag cloud stating “mobility is freedom 2.0”. This entry will share a few spotlights on different perspectives when it comes to the question: “What is mobility?” First of all mobility is a very flexible term. Asking ten people for their definition of mobility it’s likely you´ll get ten different answers: To the younger fellow from the suburbs his brand new scooter stands for mobility. On the other hand to a manager a new smart phone means the ability to create a mobile work environment. And a young family again might be happy with the new railroad track or air route to their holiday destination. It seems like the understanding and perception of mobility is mainly influenced by two factors: time and technological development. Let’s talk about what science has to say about the topic. Processes of mobility have become a profound object of research. Since the dawn of industrialisation and urbanisation the meaning of mobility has changed due to the alternation of job structures and the consequent introduction of division of labour. One of the most interesting fields of mobility research is cities. You could focus on many different aspects of mobility within an urban framework – here’s one example. Daily traffic is growing moderately. The figures of motorised individuals are steadily being compared to growing numbers of bicycle traffic and the increased use of public transport. Now if you take a deeper look you will discover some interesting findings: Since older people today show a greater mobility due to better health care and protection, their participation rate in daily traffic grows. Why’s that? Due to their “mobility habits”: they mostly rely on classic vehicle traffic. Younger folks, on the other hand, tend to use their bikes or public transport more often – this development coincides with a declining number of driving license holders.[1]

As you can see, this introduction can only give a first impression of the mobility topic. It gets nowhere near the variety of mobility forms, aspects, developments and trends. On the other hand we hope we made you curious enough so you will come back for our next article.
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