Hello everyone and welcome back to the course. For this week we are going to be talking about common mobility with Anna Nikolaeva, who is an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. She works at the Urban Mobility Futures Chair. Her work is around mobilities and how people get around. We have Anna with us on the call today. Hi Anna and welcome. Hi George. To start Anna, let's just go to what inspired you to write this paper? Well, the initial inspiration for this paper really came from two sources. One was the research material from the project living in the mobility transition. Together with my colleagues, we were finishing that global comparative project on Maluti tradition policies, which traveled around the world and we looked at the landscape of policies that aimed at transition to sustainable mobility. In 2016, the projects was finishing, did the project which I did together with a number of colleagues. The project focused on policies that aimed at mobility transition around the world. We did this global comparative research for two years in 14 countries. At the time in 2016, I was looking for ways to conceptualize our material. I was specifically interested in the question, what is the main dream logic, the dominant logic of mobility policies? Where do we find these feed of change and how do you conceptualize feed of change? I was looking for a language to describe what we were seeing in the data. Particularly inspiring the data were stories of mobility innovators or sustainable mobility activists from around the world who offered a new way of looking at mobility. They were initiating all kinds of projects in the fear of transition to more sustainable and often more inclusive mobility. I was looking for a way to capture that parity. At the same time 2016, I came across a book that is called The Wealth of the Common, A World Beyond Market and State. That book is a great primer on common for everyone. In that book, you really can see how the language of common and this vision of common can be applied productively towards any area of societal life of our human activity. I realized that mobility is such an area where we need that language and where we already see that language start evolving. When I looked at the interviews with a number of activists, around the world I could see that this language, this notion, actually really is big. What they are trying to achieve, what they trying to change. Because they are rejecting the dominant logic of mobility that focuses on mobility as an individual right, as individual freedom, that something that has to be optimized, something that we should not try to reduce, and that these courts ignores the collective dimension of mobility. Mobility is something that we do together and something through which we have impact on each other's lives, through which we shape each other's lives. Commons is exactly that, the common [inaudible]. That was really the two sources of inspiration. On one hand, stories that are in my comics heard around the world, all initiatives and activist projects. On the other hand, all this book and the whole field of common thinking. Thanks Anna. That was really good to hear about the reasons for why you wrote this paper. Of course as additional reading, I encourage you to also read Wealth of the Commons as background for this module. I want to move on next to a discussion about the main takeaways of this paper, and what you as a reader should pay attention to while reading this for the course. I think there are three main takeaways that I would like to emphasize, and they correspond to the three logics that we analyze in the paper. First, scarcity. Scarcity is always constructed. Interrogate scarcity because especially in the field of mobility we hear a lot of discussions on scarce space, scarce money, scarce time, all kinds of resources. Interrogate scarcity, each time you hear that something is scarce, ask yourself, where does this scarcity come from? Is there an abundance of the same resource, but for another purpose? For example, she talked about road space, and that in some places there is not enough road space for bike lanes. You can look at how much space is dedicated to driving and to car parking to give you a very simple example. First, examine scarcity, ask, can this scarcity be contested? Who benefits from this scarcity? Second one has to do with the logic of austerity, distribution of resources. If mobility is scarce, if mobility is reduced, think that is this fair? How are the reductions in the mobility distributed? Who is paying a higher price? Is this fair? The third one, commoning. I think an interesting switch that I encourage you to make when you look at mobility, also when you look at mobility innovations, for example, in your final assignment for this course, you will reframe, rethink, redescribe mobility innovations. Look at mobility from to perspective, from the perspective of an individual freedom, individual right and benefits for an individual, and then switch your lens to the collective, the social of mobility. What does this mobility practice, mobility mode, mobility innovation, what does it do for the collective? How does it impact the community? What is the social, the collective dimension of it? How is it not yet something that benefits society, benefits the community? Can it be common, can be rethought in a way that it will present a shared meaning of mobility? That it is in another way more common rather than in individual mobility practice or mobility innovation. Thanks, Anna, for giving us a nice and succinct summary of that paper. As you go back into the reading, make sure you focus on those three key takeaways. Another thing I was wondering about is, how do you think this paper would help our audience or our students see the world in a different way? What are the different aspects that we can take and apply to the way that we see the way mobility operates around us? Think of a choice of going to your work by bike or by car. If I go by car, I do not only contribute to the growth of CO2 emissions and air pollution. By that choice, I also have impact on the place where I live, the place that through which I move. For example, because if I drive at a particular speed I basically create more danger on the street. I make a street a little more dangerous place even if I drive carefully. Also very importantly, I made that trip August 3, through which I drive a little less sociable, a little less lively place to be because I am in this metal shell. It is a tiny choice, but I have that impact on many levels. Then let's compare this impact of the choice to the impact of a choice to go by bike. As far as the reality I'm describing, it's close to the reality that I see every day, which is Amsterdam. But I think the point can be translated to other environments with some reservations, of course. If I take a bike, I do not contribute to CO_2 emissions. I do not contribute to air pollution in my city. I take less space, which means I create more space for others. Of course, cyclists can be implicated in traffic accidents and so forth, but statistically, average impact of a vehicle such as a car and a bike are very different. So my contribution to the safety of the place is also different. Importantly, by that choice, I can make a place where I live, a place to which I moved through, a more socially interesting place because I am much more open to my social environment. I look at people, people look at me. I can have small interactions in a very different way than a person driving a car interacts with their environment. To recap, looking at mobility as a common is looking at mobility as something through which we shape each other's lives, through which we shape community and place. This is something to consider when you look at mobility innovations, mobility practices. What impact the mobility innovations have on community on the place, on other people, and so forth. Perhaps, it's a good idea to give a more specific example of innovation, which is very interesting to analyze from this standpoint of the logic of the common, shared mobility. At a first glance, share mobility sounds like something very close to mobility as a common thing, something that we share. However, if you look at a number of solutions or innovations within this area, you will see that they are not really common. They instead contribute, for example, example bike shares. There is a lot of research showing that bike shares have contributed to inequalities, or have contributed to maintain an existing inequalities in accessibility in a number of cities around the world because of how prices are set, because where docking stations are placed, and so forth. Also, importantly, because often local communities are not consulted, and instead they get nearly informed where docking stations will be because the data is extracted for commercial reasons. Eventually sometimes, you see that even the impact of sustainability is minimal or negligible. This is not to say that the bike shares cannot be the solutions to a number of societal issues, include this mobility and fair mobility. They definitely can be. But we also have a lot of research showing different cases in different cities that highlight inequalities and all those issues around the fact that these can be an exclusionary form of mobility innovation. So logic of mobility As a common overview, that critical perspective also looking at mobility, innovation within, for example, shared mobility. That's a really good point that you mentioned about taking this example of shared mobility. It leads me to read your paper and think about this idea of the tragedy of the commons or even its opposite, the tragedy of the anti-commons, which I think are both regardless in this framework of scarcity, which you're pushing back against. It's not whether it's commons or it's not commons, it's the tragedy exists because we take on this economic frame of mind. I think what you've illustrated here is that we need to shift the framework to something different to be able to work through these social issues. We do live in a world of incredible economic wealth; for developed countries. The fact that we still have to grapple with ideas such as the commons, such as these tragedies, is maybe a sign that perhaps were not adequately discussing our mobility issues because most of where mobility takes place is actually in public space. There is no way to avoid that. There's no, the very definition of a public right of way, is that it's in public. It makes it impossible to govern it with a scarcity or privatization framework. Now that we've gone through the paper and reflected with you on what this paper means, I was wondering, Anna, what do you think is an action that people should take as a result of reading this paper? I think first of all, it would be amazing if people reflect more critically on mobility innovation, in particular, on mobility broadly, why is individual good? Why is the public good? Why is the common good? How can we move towards ensuring that we achieve common good through mobility? That we stop seeing mobility as something technical, something that needs to be exclusively achieving efficiency and speed. Instead, we could look at how do we arrange, how do we govern mobility? How do we give meaning to mobility in a way that we instead contribute to our social common well-being, mental health, physical health, social cohesion, diversity, livability, sustainability and so forth? Critical reflection, taking responsibility, examining your mobility pattern; mobility patterns of communities you are part of and people you are close to, take that logic into account when you think about mobility; the logic of common good. Then of course if someone is inspired to innovate or to initiate new forms of common mobility, cooperate with others, for example, at the level of your neighborhood, and discuss with others whether the way you arrange mobility can be changed towards creating and maintain common good instead of only benefit individual. Yeah, I think that would be things that people could do if they are inclined to of course. Excellent. Thank you very much Anna, for joining us. Thank you very much for the paper and putting this work out there for the students to read. We'll see you in a bit in the assignments section. Thanks for having me, George. Take care.