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Click to Expand Gallery A U-Turn to the Future: Sustainable Urban Mobility since 1850

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Volume 4

Explorations in Mobility

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A U-Turn to the Future

Sustainable Urban Mobility since 1850

Edited by Martin Emanuel, Frank Schipper, and Ruth Oldenziel

350 pages, 20 illustrations, bibliog., index, instructor's guide

ISBN  978-1-78920-559-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (February 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-560-2 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®

Instructor Guide available to accompany the text.


“This is the book I’ve been waiting to read: an investigation into how our cities came to be as unsustainable as they apparently were in the recent past. It uncovers hidden histories containing important clues for how to make cities more sustainable in the future.” • Daniel Gordon, Edge Hill University

“The entire book is innovative, accessible, and well-written, with an interdisciplinary approach that combines history, sociology, economics, geography, and a number of other fields.” • Keith Laybourn, University of Huddersfield


From local bike-sharing initiatives to overhauls of transport infrastructure, mobility is one of the most important areas in which modern cities are trying to realize a more sustainable future. Yet even as politicians and planners look ahead, there remain critical insights to be gleaned from the history of urban mobility and the unsustainable practices that still impact our everyday lives. United by their pursuit of a “usable past,” the studies in this interdisciplinary collection consider the ecological, social, and economic aspects of urban mobility, showing how historical inquiry can make both conceptual and practical contributions to the projects of sustainability and urban renewal.

Martin Emanuel is a historian of technology affiliated with the Department of Economic History, Uppsala University with a profile on mobility, urban, and tourism history. He is the author of Trafikslag på undantag: Cykeltrafiken i Stockholm 1930–1980 [Excluded through Planning: Bicycle Traffic in Stockholm 1930–1980] (2012) and co-author of Cycling Cities: The European Experience (2016).

Frank Schipper is a historian of technology and an independent scholar specializing in mobility and infrastructure studies. He is the author of Driving Europe: Building Europe on Roads in the Twentieth Century (2008) and, most recently, co-author of Cycling Cities: The Rotterdam Experience (2019).

Ruth Oldenziel is a professor in the History Division of the Technology, Innovation, and Society Department at Eindhoven University of Technology, where she heads the research program “Sustainable Urban Mobility, 1880s-Present.” She has published widely in the areas of American, transatlantic, gender, and technology studies, most recently as co-author of the volumes Cycling Cities: The European Experience (2016) and Engineering the Future, Understanding the Past (2017).

Subject: Mobility Studies History (General) Urban Studies Transport Studies



Introduction: Historicizing Sustainable Urban Mobility
Frank Schipper, Martin Emanuel, and Ruth Oldenziel


Chapter 1. Designing (Un)Sustainable Urban Mobility from Transnational Settings, 1850–Present
Ruth Oldenziel, M. Luísa Sousa, and Pieter van Wesemael

Chapter 2. History as Motordom’s Tool of Agenda Legitimation: Twentieth-Century U.S. Urban Mobility Trajectories
Peter Norton

Chapter 3. Railway Modernism Losing Out: Lessons from an English Conurbation, 1955–1975
Colin Divall


Chapter 4. Pedestrian Stories: Recovering Sustainable Urban Mobility
Colin Pooley

Chapter 5. Load Story: A Century of Pedestrian Logistics in Toulouse
Franck Cochoy, Roland Canu, and Cédric Calvignac

Chapter 6. Recovering Sustainable Mobility Practices: A Visual History of Turku’s Streetscape 1950–1980
Tiina Männistö-Funk


Chapter 7. State Socialism and Sustainable Urban Mobility: Alternative Paths in St Petersburg since the 1880s
Alexandra Bekasova, Julia Kulikova, and Martin Emanuel

Chapter 8. Liveable Streets and Hidden Unsustainability: The Biography of a Street in Stockholm
Martin Emanuel

Chapter 9. Green Urban Spaces and Sustainable Mobility: Parks as Pockets of Persistence since the 1830s
Frank Schipper


Chapter 10. Mobility Justice and the Velomobile Commons in Urban America
Mimi Sheller

Chapter 11. Toward a Long-Term Measurement System of Sustainable Urban Mobility
     Appendix: Sources for Measuring Historical Sustainable Mobility
     Jan-Pieter Smits and Frank Veraart

Epilogue: Reflections from a Policy Perspective
Hans Jeekel and Bert Toussaint


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