Cosmin Popan, doctoral candidate in Sociology, tells us what’s mobile about researching bicycles and alternative mobility systems.
My PhD thesis investigates the possibilities for everyday urban cycling to become a socio-technical system that replaces automobility. This exercise requires two necessary conditions: a utopian vision and a de-growth agenda. My thesis focuses on three aspects of a putative bicycle system: First, there are the cycling sensescapes: how senses operate differently, how some are awakened and others reconfigured, how sensory tolerances are built. Second, there are the sociabilities of cycling together, creating the skills and confidences needed for a successful mass practice. Third, there are infrastructures, both physical and non-physical, whose promises of speed and progress I challenge. My work is part of the research programme Liveable Cities.