Infoscience

Journal article

A visual model for mobility practices and learnings, Or why new visualizations allow us to consider the city as a paedagogical space

Visualizations of the city are necessary to lead to inquiries and for designing urban and transport policies because they are needed to synthesize information, to stimulate new hypotheses, and to evoke models. However, most of the contemporary visualization models do not consider that the major paradigms in urban studies concentrate on dwelling practices. The goal of this exploratory article is to represent the practices of urban dwellers, with the aim of elaborating a method to visualize and study the evolution of practices. For this task, there is a need to translate the concepts of practice and learning into visualization. In this article, I propose a range of visualizations to render practices and learnings visible and comparable, allowing for more visual research. The visualizations are created from data gathered during interviews with inhabitants of Swiss urban regions on their daily mobility within a research project challenging the place of the car in contemporary urban spaces. By inventing representations of dweller practices, I obtain a renewed model for understanding urban spaces and practices based on learning. Finally, visualizations are used to understand urban spaces anew and to imagine urban interventions that could be beneficial to changes in mobility practices. Policy measures to reduce car use are suggested based on the model developed with the visualizations and its fundamental principles. Starting from the elaboration of a method of visualization, I propose both a theoretical inquiry of urban practices based on visual urban research and a definition of the city based on learning to orient urban designs in favour of more paedagogical thinking.

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