Blog

12. November 2021

Automating vehicles is a solution for … what? Five theses concerning automation, public spaces and public involvement in an emerging technology

Volkan Sayman

In this article, I will present five theses concerning the ongoing race for bringing automated vehicles on public roads. Some of my theses are quite disillusioning, some provide hope for a better future of urban mobility with fewer private cars, some concern seemingly “technical” details. What underlies my thinking is the fact that in a field […]

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29. October 2021

The Way of the Bikerni: Women and Motorbikes in Urban India

(Written by Maddalena Chiellini) Delhi is considered a dangerous city when it comes to women’s mobility. Episodes of violence like the bus gang-rape of 2012 are a symptom of a city inscribed with gender inequality, especially in relation to accessing public space. In this contribution, I explore the experiences and relationship with mobility of the members of a ladies-only motorcycle club, the Bikerni. By looking at their hardships and successes, this blog post aims to convey how biking is a conflagration point for more than just patriarchal relations of power.

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20. August 2021

Die fahrradfreundliche Stadt für alle? Überlegungen zu Ein- und Ausschlüssen der aktuellen Radverkehrsentwicklung in Berlin

(von Maximilian Hoor) Die Verkehrswende in Berlin scheint zum Greifen nahe und der Radverkehr erlebt seit Jahren einen rasanten Bedeutungsgewinn in Wissenschaft, Politik, Planung und Kultur. Der Beitrag greift aktuelle Entwicklungen des Radverkehrs auf und ordnet diese in den Kontext verkehrs- und stadtpolitischer Debatten ein. Es geht um die Frage, welchen Beitrag ein inklusiv gestalteter Radverkehr für die Verkehrswende und die lebenswerte Stadt leisten kann, und welche Herausforderungen sich dabei stellen.

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6. August 2021

Infrastructural violence in Johannesburg’s taxi industry

(By Silvia Danielak) Since the emergence of ride-hailing applications, South African urban centers have seen a rise in violence between the traditional metered taxis and the new ride-share services. Hundreds of criminal cases have been opened over the last years, and protests organized by ride-hailing drivers have drawn attention to the rising tension in the transport industry. A focus on urban infrastructure might shed new light on the history, politics and materiality of places that perpetuate violence in South Africa’s cities.

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9. July 2021

Digital care: How social support during the Covid-19 pandemic shifted to the digital and our worries became “surplus value”

In this blog post Daniela Krüger, Nina Margies, Robert Vief and Talja Blokland show that the Covid-19 pandemic and contact restrictions changed the how and where of exchanging social support with others shifting increasingly to the digital. This may be in part a result of the Berliners’ attempt to create a new private outside. Krüger et al. argue, however, that this new private relies on an illusio of privacy. Especially during the pandemic, they hold, our worries might have become “surplus value” in an unregulated and intransparent market of data on and by us.

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13. June 2021

Cities under surveillance: on technologies, public space and racism in Brazilian capitals.

(By Paulo Victor Melo) Cameras on public roads, inside buses, trains, parks and squares; private video surveillance systems that also record street images; geolocation mechanisms; drones flying over large avenues; the use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition in different spaces of circulation of people. Urban public spaces are increasingly interwoven with information and communication digital devices and infrastructures. These transcend physical limitations and install mechanisms for gathering individual and collective personal data; they promote changes in social dynamics, aggravate territorial conflicts and expand the surveillance potential of cities.

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12. June 2021

Illegalisierter Drogenhandel in „urbanen Dörfern“ – kaum umkämpfte Räume?

(Christiane Howe) Bei fortlaufendem Drogenhandel und -konsum in einem Quartier einer Großstadt sind vielfältige Konflikte zu vermuten. Doch wie genau bilden sich dieser Handel und Konsum sozial-räumlich ab, wie gehen sie vonstatten und wie manifestieren sich darin dennoch und mit ihnen spezifische Ordnungen? Ausgangspunkt meiner Überlegungen ist, dass sich diese Ordnungen nicht allein materiell im und am konkreten Ort zeigen, sondern durch die sozialen Praktiken aller Beteiligten hergestellt und angezeigt werden (vgl. Löw 2001: 158 ff.). Die Teilnehmenden werden demnach als Teil einer (Interaktions-)Situation (Goffman 1967) begriffen, die gemeinsam erst hervorgebracht und sowohl gemeinsam durchgeführt als auch, in Anlehnung an Goffmans Maxime, dramaturgisch aufgeführt wird. So ist davon auszugehen, dass in jedem Quartier Bewohner*innen vor Ort lernen, sie zunehmend ein ‚lokales Wissen‘ erwerben und besitzen und damit Relevantes von Nicht-Relevantem unterscheiden können. Im Nachfolgenden versuche ich das Beschriebene exemplarisch und qualitativ-ethnografisch anhand eines solchen Quartiers einer Großstadt herauszuarbeiten.

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26. April 2021

Conflicted fantasies and spatial identities: from Ramallah to Paris

(By Aseel Aldeek) This post presents a personal account of my experiences growing up in Ramallah, Palestine, studying at Al-Quds Bard university in Palestine and then emigrating to France. It is an overview of all the spaces I had to interact with throughout my life which have now come to define my identity. By observing the different political and social atmospheres in different spaces and their effect on me, I have come to realise that my identity has no static definition and is continuously redefined through every space I exist in.

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