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BIKESHARING OUT OF A CYCLING POLICY: A NEW URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE RELATION BETWEEN THE MOBILE POLICY AND TECHNOLOGY

Liubov Chernysheva (E-mail: l.a.chernysheva@gmail.com)

European University at St. Petersburg; Sociological Institute of RAS, Saint Petersburg, Russia; University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Citation: Chernysheva L. (2018) Veloprokat vne velopolitiki: novaya gorodskaya infrastruktura i svyaz' “mobil'nykh” politiki i tekhnologii [Bikesharing out of a cycling policy: a new urban infrastructure and the relation between the mobile policy and technology]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(3): 170-200 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.3.8

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Abstract. The article deals with the relations between mobile policies of building urban sustainability and development of cycling and mobile technology — bikesharing system. City governments around the world are interested in solving emerging problems by turning to the globally circulating mobile policies. In particular, city governments, interested in building sustainability, encourage cycling, build cycling infrastructure and introduce bikesharing systems. In 2014, a bikesharing system appeared in St. Petersburg — it allows lending a bicycle at one station, making a short trip and returning it to any other station. However, the system’s appearance in the city was not preceded by articulation and adoption of the policy of cycling development, and the city government did not manage to develop cycling infrastructure. The article presents an attempt to explain the emerging contradiction, referring to the concept of mobile urbanism. The analysis of the history of bikesharing in St. Petersburg reveals and problematizes the relation between bikesharing as technology and urban policy and demonstrates how the mobile policies of sustainability and cycling were involved in the process of transferring mobile bikesharing technology. During this technological transfer, two levels — global and national — were hybridized, since a similar project in Moscow played an important role in the history of the appearance of the bikesharing in St. Petersburg. Unlike the expected linear connection (first, the appearance of urban cycling policy, then, the appearance of technology), in St. Petersburg we trace the process of disengagement of the technology and the policy, their co-production, and some attempts to link them together that were carried out by urban activists.

Keywords: urban policy, urban mobility, infrastructure, sustainability, bicycle, bikesharing, mobile policy, mobile technology

Acknowledgements: The work was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Research within the framework of the project «Quality of urban space: vectors of development of civic initiative groups in Russia and Germany» (№ 16-03-00508).

 

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