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New paradigms in conceptualizing shared mobility – Call for papers

December 8, 2012


We invite submissions to the following Call for Papers for the 2013 RGS-IBG (Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers) annual conference. This will take place in London from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 August 2013. Please note the opportunity for a postgraduate paper prize.

New paradigms in conceptualizing shared mobility

Session Convenors:

Dr. Juliet Jain & Professor Graham Parkhurst, University of the West of England, Bristol.

Royal Geographical Society Conference

Technology is offering a potential new dynamic in how transport is delivered and used. There is a move from what were once ‘private’ ways of being mobile towards ‘shared’ modes. Traditionally, shared modes have been buses, coaches, trams, trains and air. Now there are shared cars through car clubs, personal rapid transport (PRT), and taxi services, and shared bicycles such as the London Barclays bike scheme. Mobile technologies and the rise of the ‘app’ have become particularly useful in facilitating shared transport opportunities (e.g. Barclays bike hire scheme in London). Speculating on urban futures, Sheller and Urry (2003) considered the notion of public/private and the potential reconfiguration of the city with shared automated ‘pods’. Feasibility studies and trials of personal rapid transport systems are now underway. Yet as Latour (1996) explores in his tale of Aramis, future visions of re-scripting mobility practices demand complex enrollments between politics, technical developers, communities, etc. Do such sociological interpretations and theoretical ideas assist in the implementation of shared schemes and the social diffusion of new collective mobility mechanisms?

Sharing transport presents challenges to the notion of individual ownership, and opens new debates around:

  • how shared transport is theoretically conceptualized;
  • how it is conceived, designed, delivered and managed;
  • the spatial impacts that might emerge from new networks;
  • how it is modeled and evaluated; and
  • how it is experienced and perceived by the public.

This session seeks abstracts that present evidence from new ‘shared’ schemes, theoretical concepts of sharing and social practices, and new methodological approaches for modelling use and networks, and understanding of the user experience of shared transport.

Please email your abstract of 250 words (max) to Juliet Jain at and Graham Parkhurst Graham at by the 30th January 2013.


  • Sheller, M. and Urry, J., ‘Mobile Transformations of “Public” and “Private” Life’, Theory, Culture and Society, 20: 3 (2003), pp. 107-125
  • Sheller, M. and Urry, J., ‘The City and the Car’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 24, No. 4, (2000) pp. 737-57

Postgraduate Prize

Eligible author presenters are encouraged to submit a paper for the Postgraduate Paper Prize, which is will be sponsored by Emerald Publishing in 2013. There is a first prize of £100, and a runner-up prize of a book chosen from the Emerald transport titles.

To enter for the prize, a full paper of not more than 6000 words should be submitted to the Secretary of the TGRG (Kate Pangbourne, no later than 5pm on the Friday of the week prior to the conference.


Eligibility is restricted to post-graduate students (or those who have had their viva within six months of the date of the conference) presenting their own work. There is a presumption that the papers ought to be sole authored.