mobiLIty: Everyday Mobility at Uni Li

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, October 2021 until September 2022

Coordinator

Architecture

Main Research

Sustainable Planning and Construction

Description

Mobility and sustainability are some of the most pressing challenges of our time. While socio-technical solutions are transforming the urban environments that characterize much of the globe today, infra-structure planning often fails to adequately incorporate the everyday movements of people - which are key to how cities and regions function on a daily basis - into these plans. This often results in a disconnect between these routine "spatial practices" of people travelling between home and work, going grocery shopping, taking their children to school, and the policies that attempt to shape the urban environment and engender a more sustainable future. In the Principality of Liechtenstein alone, more than 20'000 people travel outwards and 12'000 people travel inwards on a daily basis, the ma-jority of whom move by private vehicles. These spatial practices indicate that Liechtenstein is part of an extended urban region, with a scope far beyond just cross-border travel: a region that must be understood as an interdependent whole.

This abstract conception of urbanization becomes concretely visible at the University of Liechtenstein, which is an important destination for people throughout the Alpenrheintal (ART), greater Bodensee Region (BSR), and beyond. If such urban regions are to be made more sustainable in the future, plans must incorporate everyday spatial practices, to understand not just where people are going, but why and the details of how they get there. Is convenience the primary driver of travel and modal choice? Is it geographical location? What role do conceptions of living a more sustainable lifestyle or contrib-uting to positive environmental change play? Applying methods developed by the applicant in the context of Southern Africa, including a novel smartphone application collecting volunteered geograph-ic information (VGI), can link patterns of movements with these kinds of choices. This project therefore proposes conducting a VGI study with volunteers from the University of Liechtenstein, to visualize the way people move to the university on a daily basis. Complementing this digital research will be expert interviews with members of the university administration and local governance, in order to unpack both the challenges and opportunities these routines present for mobility and sustainability. The final output will comprise a series of key findings and recommendations that could inform the formulation of a university-wide mobility and sustainability concept, as well as several publications intended for academic audiences and an exhibition for the general public in Liechtenstein.