The concept of everyday mobility is inextricably linked to social issues, creating complex dynamics that affect people’s daily lives. We address these challenges using a conceptual framework that explores the key underlying concepts.


The social stakes of mobility

Everyday mobility has a direct impact on the accessibility of territories, which is crucial for carrying out daily activities. Access to territories is an essential gateway for meeting social needs such as work, leisure, shopping and social interaction. Lack of control over mobility can exclude individuals from social participation, accentuating vulnerability, particularly for vulnerable populations and those with low mobility.


Car dependency and environmental issues

Car dependency is a central aspect of mobility inequalities. The absence of efficient alternatives can create social, economic and environmental inequalities. This dependence reinforces inequalities by restricting modal choices, where lack of access to the car becomes the major explanatory factor for inequalities in daily mobility. However, this dependence is also costly and weakens low-income households.


Mobility potential and motility

Access to mobility varies from individual to individual, creating major inequalities between social groups in terms of distances travelled and number of journeys. Kaufmann’s concept of motility emphasizes the way in which an individual exploits his or her mobility potential, integrating accessibility factors, individual skills and appropriation. Motility offers a flexible perspective, taking into account the subjectivity of human action.


Inequalities and vulnerability

Inequalities in access are strongly linked to the location of activities, regional planning and individual capabilities. These inequalities are accentuated by external factors (service provision, pricing) and internal factors (motor disability, cognitive functions). Vulnerability, defined as dependence and lack of autonomy, extends the understanding of inequalities beyond endogenous limitations.


Fair socio-ecological transition

A just and equitable socio-ecological transition is emerging as an imperative. Mobility, at the heart of urban dynamics, must integrate the notion of social vulnerability and respond to the specific needs of populations dependent on public transport. Social sciences highlight the need to address social inequalities in the context of transport, beyond conventional target audiences.


With this in mind, our project aims to contribute to inclusive mobility that is aware of social issues and geared towards the ecological transition. Social inequalities in mobility must not be relegated to the background, but rather treated as a central element of transport policies to ensure equity and justice in access to territories.


Photo credit : Ruslan Khimrad, 2020.