The Story of Sustainable Mobility - the Role of Myths in Sustainable Mobility Transitions

Abstract: This compilation licentiate contains a kappa followed by two papers with the common purpose of introducing the conceptual framework of myth theory to the study of sustainable mobility transitions. Myth is presented here as story that reflects ideology, alleviates anxiety and rationalises everyday practices. A myth holds the power of the obvious; that which goes unquestioned or is simply taken for granted. It is asserted that truth neither makes nor breaks myth, as myths are based on belief rather than factual support. The two papers discuss myth in the context of human geography in general and the research field of sustainable mobility in particular. The first paper – Sustainable Mobility as Make-Believe – reviews the concept of myth and discusses the two mobility myths of prosperity through mobility and sustainable mobility. Paper two – Contradictions of Mobility: The Illogic of Growth and the Logic of Myth – further develops the myth of sustainable mobility. It argues that this myth should be seen not as one, but two stories – development as quantitative growth and the discourse of sustainability – the combination of which circumvents the ecological unsustainability of perpetual mobility growth by making sustainability a type of rather than a limit to quantitative growth. The kappa builds on the foundations in the two papers with the aim of developing the concept of myth towards practical application in sustainable mobility research. The construction of myth is further developed and discussed in relation to the central concepts of language and truth and its conceptual relatives discourse and narrative. The multi-level perspective is presented as a potential heuristic tool for guiding the application of myth theory in transition studies. In a final section, the upcoming case-study set in a highly mobile region trying to achieve urban sustainable mobility is presented, emphasising the material aspect of myth.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.