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Smart mobility policy - understanding the discourse

In recent years, ideas related to digitalization have come to form important parts of the contemporary transport policy agenda. This presentation is motivated by an interest in the ongoing formative phase of the emerging policy and planning area of digitalization and smart mobility.

Time: Tue 2018-05-22 08.30 - 09.30

Location: ITRL, Drottning Kristinas Väg 40 Stockholm, Sweden 10044

Participating: Karolina Isaksson, Jacob Witzell

The presentation will examine and critically discuss the ongoing discursive framing of digitalization in contemporary transport policy and planning, and to see what perspectives and meanings related to “smart” mobility and accessibility that are being established in strategic plans and policies for the transport sector.

The presentation is based upon a discourse analysis of the contemporary framing of the digitalization agenda in the Swedish transport policy context. The empirical focus is on transport strategies and official reports developed at the national level. The main findings indicate that digitalization is being framed as a rapid and unstoppable transformation process, which may lead to a range of positive outcomes such as reduced climate emissions, less congestion, improved accessibility and a smoother and more resource-efficient transport system. According to the ideas and assumptions that are being established through the current discourse, it is only through a stronger involvement of business enterprises that this transformation can occur. At the same, this emerging policy framing is less clear about how transport policy objectives will actually be balanced in relation to market and innovation interests. It also risk leaving the transition to sustainable mobility to less formalized and transparent policy arenas, parallel to, and partly detached from, established planning and strategy making processes.

Karolina Isaksson is a senior research leader in Planning and decision making processes at VTI, and adjunct professor in Urban planning specializing in policy and sustainability transitions at KTH. Her main research interests include sustainable transport development with a focus on power relations and institutional conditions.

Jacob Witzell is a PhD Student in Planning and decision analysis at VTI and KTH. He is currently studying organizational and institutional aspects of sustainable transitions within the MISTRA-program Sustainable Accessibility and Mobility Services.

The seminar is arranged by Integrated Transport Research Lab.

Breakfast will be served.

Please register by 18th of May to secure your place.

The event will also be streaming live on our Facebook page


Contact Albin Engholm,

The presentation is the ninth installment in our series of Tuesday Seminars that will take place during 2018. Sign up for our newsletter  to receive updates about future events at ITRL, or take a look at our calendar  if you want to know more about what we have planned.