Contested values in bike-sharing mobilities – A case study from Sweden

Till Koglin, Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren, Journal of Transport Geography, April 2021

The aim of this paper is to analyse the type of mobilities and subjects that are being promoted and constituted through bike-sharing systems. This is done through an analysis of the bike-sharing system in the city of Lund in Sweden. The analysis utilises Bacchi's What is the Problem Represented to be? framework and develops it through adding a spatial perspective. Departing from a critical velomobilities perspective, we argue that urban transport policies cannot merely be regarded as one specific and delimited reaction to well-defined policy problems. Instead, the ways that BSSs are, described, motivated – but also spatially organised – constitute which mobilities are produced. The analysis is based in an analysis of relevant policy documents, maps and observations. It is concluded that bike sharing is not seen as cycling and is rarely linked to cycling as such, but rather is seen as part of the public transport system. Further, it is concluded that the motivation behind the location of the stations is to facilitate the flow of workers to public transport, and promote attractiveness and tourism, thus constituting a strong belief in a win-win situation between sustainability and growth. Here prioritisation between different values, and the possible tensions between different social and environmental dimensions of sustainability is down-played.

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