The near-global hegemony of motorized transport has dramatically disrupted traditional use of public space, and in turn has impacted the opportunity for social and economic co-evolution and self-determination. The violent history of this radical change of life illustrates how unnatural and disruptive motorization has been. One arm of the institutionalization of a humanity contained within the motorized framework has been the steady constraints upon the innate mode of walking and the relatively gentle mode of bicycling, and related nonmotorized travel modes, through physical, financial and legal threats of force. Nature and the animal kingdom have also lost freedom of mobility and natural patterns of access to the physical world. Is the very assumption of the essentiality of motorization, valid? Are the constraints upon non-automotive mobilities justified? Are there alternative models with a compelling case of validity, from carfree cities to simply relaxing the traffic rules and the physical structures that govern mobility? What are the total comparative costs and benefits between alternative frameworks, were they realized, including the costs to human and ecological consciousness? These topics are analyzed and discussed in detail, including creative and technical analyses of innovative low-carbon solutions with broad implications for application on a global scale, and where non-monetized values figure prominently in the equations. Transitional pathways through degrowth are further explored.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Liberation from Motorization“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.