Towards agile city, beyond discourses on speed and slowness

The speed of travel as a determining element in the politics of mobility has shaped urban schemes, visions, and mobility policies throughout the last century. This article addresses evolving discourses and positions, from excitement for speed by the advent of car to the critics of hypermobility and projects for slowness, beginning in the second half of the century. Presenting current critiques of slowness, we draw on recent approaches that go beyond distance/time relation and take “accessibility” to be the ultimate goal of mobility. Through some examples possible transitions from automobility, towards more equitable and more efficient mobility infrastructure that breaks from theories of speed and rhetorics of slowness, are addressed. We introduce the notion of agility, as the capacity to mediate between different speeds, in order to maintain high accessibility, to provide continuity and smooth transitions between spaces, modes and speeds.

Presented at:
The 9th International Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), Buenos Aires, UBA, FADU, October 26-28, 2016

 Record created 2017-03-19, last modified 2018-09-13

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