Rural mobility in later life; counteracting accessibility poverty with digital service solutions

Vanessa Stjernborg & Gustav Lopez Svensson, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, January 2024


Norrbotten region is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, with often long distances to services. This paper aims to gain a deeper understanding of the everyday mobilities in later life in rural areas, and to assess to what extent digital service solutions (DiSS) can contribute to reduced accessibility poverty. The study focuses on how DiSS contribute to more equitable accessibility by means of a case study in two villages, selected due to implemented DiSS (store with digital locks, digital hubs, etc.). Interviews with older people and other informants show the potential of DiSS to counteract accessibility poverty by bringing services nearer to home and reducing the need for longer trips, while contributing to the creation of healthier and more resilient environments. If implemented carefully, DiSS can have the potential to contribute to the development of more transport-efficient and socially just societies.

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