Since 2016 I have been working on applying commons thinking to mobility. In the context of mobility, commons have often been understood no more as urban land where these mobilities are taking place and compete for space. See, for example, this recent article in Guardian on dockless bikeshares and “the tragedy of the commons”. This a very narrow way of looking at commons and mobility, whereas it seems a broader way of conceiving mobility as commons may challenge a number of “wicked problems” associated with mobility today.

We have published the paper that outlines the concept:

Nikolaeva, A., Adey, P., Cresswell, T., Lee, J. Y., Nóvoa, A., & Temenos, C. (2019). Commoning mobility: Towards a new politics of mobility transitions. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

View and download here:

Together with Jan Duffhues from the City of Amsterdam we wrote a conference paper in which we exchange perspectives on practical implications of the concept. You can read it here.

Later, we revised the paper, adding a discussion of the impact of COVID-19 on mobility, and the paper was published as:

Nikolaeva A. & & Duffhues, J. (2022). Commoning mobility in the age of COVID-19: A dialogue between Anna Nikolaeva and Jan Duffhues. Applied Mobilities0(0), 1–8. Read here

Together with a team of authors we also wrote a book that focuses on mobility transitions more broadly and includes a chapter on commoning mobility (a slightly updated version of the paper from 2019, re-published with the permission of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers). Our book offers more insight into the politics and the geographies of mobility transitions.

Adey, P., Cresswell, T., Lee J., Novoa, A., Nikolaeva, A., & C. Temenos. (2021). Moving Towards Transition: Commoning Mobility for a Low-Carbon Future. Zed Books.

For any queries about ongoing work do not hesitate to contact me.

Some earlier discussions of the concept:

On 14 November 2018, together with Luca Bertolini I organised the debate “Commoning Mobility”. A recording is available here

Here’s the shortened version of the paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference of The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T²M), Mexico City, 27-30th October 2016.

I have also presented an extended version of theorising mobility as commons at RC21 Rethinking Urban Global Justice: An international academic conference for critical urban studies in Leeds, 11-13 September, 2017.

An earlier version of the paper for Transactions was published via the working paper series at Center for Urban Studies, the University of Amsterdam

Nikolaeva A., Adey, P., Cresswell, T., Lee J., Novoa, A. and C. Temenos (2018). A new politics of mobility: Commoning movement, meaning and practice in Amsterdam and Santiago. Centre for Urban Studies Working Paper Series