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Research in Mobilities

The Center for Mobilities Research and Policy combines interdisciplinary approaches to the study of travel, transport, migration, borders and mobile communication into one over-arching framework. Over the past decade, a "new mobilities paradigm"; has been developing in the social sciences, involving new theoretical approaches and methodological innovations for studying many kinds of mobilities and mobility systems. The term "mobilities" applies to both the large-scale movements of people, objects, capital and information across the world, and the more local processes of daily transportation, movement through urban space, and mobile communications.

Mobilities research entails interdisciplinary study of the infrastructures, flows and policies that create the contexts for contemporary mobility (and immobility). It includes attention to mobility rights, mobility justice and the new social inequalities being produced by the uneven distribution of "mobility capital."

It can inform public policy in local, regional and international contexts, from the design of urban transit systems to the surveillance of international border crossings to the design of "smart" infrastructures.

Learn more about our international journals and other publications

Current Research Projects

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 2019

Mobilities Center Director Mimi Sheller serves on the DVRPC Futures Working Group, scenario planning to update the Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan

AirCIF Airport City Futures – Innovation Fund Denmark, 2017-2021

New knowledge for managing, planning, and designing business aeromobilities at Copenhagen Airport. Center for Mobilities Research & Policy is partnering on WP5: Aeromobilities decision support model (PI OB Jensen, Aalborg University) Professor, Mimi Sheller will be international academic partner and will facilitate scenario workshops and contribute to the decision-support model.

EXPERI Research Group, 2019 to present

Mobilities Center Director Mimi Sheller serves on International Advisory Board of “The transport transition as a socioecological real-world experiment”, Funded by the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research, FONA program. Partners: Technical University of Berlin, IASS Potsdam.

Recently Completed Research Projects:

Graham Foundation for Advanced Research in the Fine Arts

Film production grant for Fly Me to the Moon, with Director Esther Figueroa, for a documentary film about environmental impacts of bauxite mining and aluminum smelting, 2016-2017

Mobile Lives Forum/Forum Vies Mobiles (Paris)

“ImagineTRAINS USA” PI Allen W. Batteau, PhD, Co-PIs Mimi B. Sheller, PhD, Susan Zeilinski, and Frederick C. Gamst, PhD. (Funding awarded to Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel: $195,000), Research Assistant: Julia M. Hildebrand, September 2014 – June 2016

National Science Foundation NSF-RAPID

ENG-CBET Award No. 1264466 ($199,746) "Understanding Sudden Hydro-Climatic Changes and Exploring Sustainable Solutions in the Enriquillo Closed Water Basin" (Southwest Hispaniola) PI Jorge Gonzalez, CCNY, Co-PI Mimi Sheller, et al., Oct. 2012 – November 2013

Danish Council for Strategic Research (Subcontract)

"Analyses of Activity-Based Travel Chains and Sustainable Mobility" (ACTUM), led by the Department of Transport at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Transport), with Aalborg University and the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy ($45,000/DKK 255,000), Feb. 2011- Dec. 2012

National Science Foundation (NSF)

ENG-CBET Award No. #1032184 ($199,854) “RAPID: Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions with Local Knowledge,” PI Franco A. Montalto, PhD, Co-PIs Michael Piasecki, PhD, Mimi B. Sheller, PhD, Patrick L. Gurian, PHD, Drexel University. April 2010 - March 2012