Sharing space with strangers in moving public places

social mixing and secessionism in mobility

Giulio Mattioli

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

The increasing importance of mobility and flows is indeed shaping the transformations of urban public space: however, urban researchers have somewhat neglected the significance of “moving” public spaces themselves, such as those of public transport. This paper challenges this underestimation by arguing that social mixing and social avoidance occur not only in neighborhoods, but also in the flows of urban and suburban mobility. Using a public mode of transport entails in fact the inevitability of interaction – albeit minimum – with fellow travelers: many passengers seem to value this, and like to indulge in activities such as observing other passengers or listening to their chatting. Others may instead look for shelter in the semiprivate space of the car, which allows them to avoid unwanted co-presence with strangers (perhaps of other ethnic groups or classes). This paper argues that the continuum between these two extremes can be conceived as an attitude dimension opposing social mixing and secessionism in mobility (i.e. the varying propensity of individuals to share space with strangers during travel) and proposes its measurement through a Likert scale. In doing that, the article strongly points out the need to focus on the many ways in which the public spaces of mobility can be lived and appropriated by the travelers, and consequently on the potentialities for regeneration of public space in non car-dependent cities. A theoretical section, aimed at defining the construct clearly on the basis of existing literature on travel behavior, is presented. There follows a methodological part, focused on the necessary steps of scale development – an issue often overlooked. Finally, the results of a little used pre-testing procedure (respondent debriefing), carried out in the Milan area in 2009, are presented: interestingly, they seem to suggest the bi-dimensionality of the
construct
Original languageEnglish
Pages2
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventUrban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges - Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 23 Apr 2010 → …

Workshop

WorkshopUrban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period23/04/10 → …

Fingerprint

secessionism
public space
Railroad cars
automobile
testing procedure
travel behavior
public transport
Testing
ethnic group
shelter
regeneration
travel
public
interaction
Values

Keywords

  • public space
  • public transport
  • car
  • mobility
  • attitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

Mattioli, G. (2010). Sharing space with strangers in moving public places: social mixing and secessionism in mobility. 2. Abstract from Urban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges, Berlin, Germany.

Sharing space with strangers in moving public places : social mixing and secessionism in mobility. / Mattioli, Giulio.

2010. 2 Abstract from Urban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges, Berlin, Germany.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Mattioli, G 2010, 'Sharing space with strangers in moving public places: social mixing and secessionism in mobility' Urban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges, Berlin, Germany, 23/04/10, pp. 2.
Mattioli G. Sharing space with strangers in moving public places: social mixing and secessionism in mobility. 2010. Abstract from Urban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges, Berlin, Germany.
Mattioli, Giulio. / Sharing space with strangers in moving public places : social mixing and secessionism in mobility. Abstract from Urban public space in the context of mobility and aestheticization: facing contemporary challenges, Berlin, Germany.1 p.
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