BBC R4 ‘Analysis’ – the social impact of increasing personal mobility 01/01/07

March 14, 2007

A thought provoking episode of BBC R4’s Analysis programme at the beginning of March has a general relevance for our study. The details are available through the BBC or can be downloaded from the SSTC website in a formatted document which includes a full transcript of the programme. Among the participants was UCL’s John Adams, a geographer with an interest in what he calls ‘hypermobility’. As this suggests the programme did take the assumption of increased personal mobility as its starting point but were not uncritical of this assumption.

Five aspects of the programme were particularly relevant

1. The phenomenon of increased mobility and its relation to commuting distances, techonology and social inequality

2. The suburbanisation of employment in the UK

3. The academic uncertainty surrounding the extent to which increased mobility is typical and what conclusions should be drawn.

3. How increased general mobility overall threatens to disadvantage the immobile, particularly non-drivers, the young and the elderly.

4. The idea that the family home rather than the neighbourhood has become the domestic centre of networking activities

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