Jean Monnet Lectures

The Jean Monnet Lecture Series is an initiative of the UniSA Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility: EU and Australasian Innovations (CCAMEU) Jean Monnet Network. The lectures recorded in this series are delivered by prominent European and Australian intellectuals and experts and focus on global issues concerning European integration and EU-Australia relations.

Lecture 1: Professor Malene Freudendal-Pedersen
"Smart cities and automated mobilities or sustainable mobilities and smart urbanism?"

Professor Malene Freudendal-Pedersen from Aalborg University, Denmark, is the CCAMEU Jean Monnet Network's Visiting Scholar

Increasingly guided by the use of ICT, the flow of humans and materials, smart cities and autonomous mobility amalgamates as a game changer to urban planning. But this needs to be discussed in relations to creating more sustainable mobility systems which is not a new issue, but rather one that we have been revisiting during the last 50 years. So far, we are still waiting for an innovative change in the systems that is not only an iteration of existing technologies as for instance Av’s and EV’s. This standstill is to a large degree due to the hegemonic mobility paradigm, working under a predict and provide -driven approach, with little attention to environmental and social externalities. In this lecture, focus is on how innovation in mobility cannot be defined primarily as an issue of new technologies. Instead, it calls for a new understanding interlinked with the cultural values of modern societies, deeply rooted in living in a mobile risk society. Decisions on smart urban mobility in relations to spatial development and technology implementations is often based on data sets, models or simulations where mobility practices are purely understood as individual choices, technological transformations, or economic forces. To create sustainable mobility practices we need robust, socially coherent and inclusive mobility systems that are more than just transport systems and connections.

This paper suggests that sustainable mobility planning needs to move away from a predict and provide outset and instead move towards understanding mobility practices related to urban development, the mix of means of transportation, and the structuration of everyday life mobilities.  Focus becomes how smart city development can contribute to more sustainable mobility practices, and in turn, create human cities. Hajer (2015) reminds us that what we need is smart urbanism rather than smart cities. In this lies an understanding of all the things cities are and not only which technologies we can put into them.

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen is Professor in Urban Planning at Aalborg University and has an interdisciplinary background linking Sociology, Geography, Urban Planning and the Sociology of Technology. Her research focuses on mobilities practices, the interrelation between spatial and digital mobilities and its impacts on everyday life, cities and societies. She is co-organizing the International Cosmobilities Network, co-founder and co-editor of the journal Applied Mobilities and the book-series Networked Urban Mobilities, both at Routledge.