Directory of Australian mobilities research projects

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Living apart together: how mobile work is transforming home

David Bissell, Andrew Gorman-Murray, Elizabeth Straughan

This project aims to provide important information about how mobile work is transforming Australian homes. Mobile working practices – where the labour force is away from their homes for days, or even weeks, at a time – are an increasingly essential but under-explored part of Australia’s economy. However, the social impacts on personal and family wellbeing are not well understood. This project aims to investigate the changes wrought by different sorts of mobile work on household life in Australia, with specific attention to personal and family wellbeing. It plans to undertake qualitative research with stakeholders and households to identify the kinds of multifaceted support that might be required for this practice to flourish without negative impacts.

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MAPPING Micro-mobility: autonomous vehicles and shared pedestrian spaces

Jathan Sadowski, Ryan Jones, Robyn Dowling

The introduction of autonomous vehicles is expected to have wide ranging consequences for the performance and experience of cities within the next few decades. This has inspired an emerging field of transport and mobilities research concerned with the impacts, opportunities, and challenges autonomous vehicles pose for urban planning and governance. While much of this attention is focused on self-driving cars that use roads, a wider fleet of ‘micro-mobility’ vehicles may soon use shared pedestrian spaces to move people and goods around the city. This project will explore the social and spatial issues for autonomous mobility in shared pedestrian spaces like footpaths, university campuses, and other urban precincts. It will investigate the potential use-cases for micro-mobility vehicles to identify where and how the technology might operate. It will also seek to deepen our knowledge of the socio-spatial context for autonomous micro-mobility. This will involve creating and applying an analytical framework for implementation—based on themes of purpose, people, power, and place—to a case study of shared pedestrian spaces.

The Youth Mobilities, Aspirations & Pathways (YMAP) Project

Anita Harris, Loretta Baldassar, Shanthi Robertson

Young people increasingly move in and out of Australia for work, study, cultural experiences and to spend time with friends and family. Migration and education policies encourage this mobility, which is expected to provide youth with enhanced life chances and competitive skills. However, very little research examines its effects on young people’s transitions. What actually happens in the long-term to careers, social and family lives and sense of belonging when you are ‘on the move’? How do young people from diverse backgrounds navigate becoming adults alongside leaving, settling in, staying away and coming home? In the YMAP Project, the aim is to investigate how transnational mobility affects young people’s ability to not only achieve desirable qualifications and livelihoods, but to be connected and engaged in their social and civic worlds. It will involve a five-year longitudinal study of 2000 young people aged 18-30 of Indian, Chinese, Italian and British ancestry (including both Australian-born and -bound), to explore how youth from various cultural backgrounds manage mobility and develop economic, social and civic benefits for themselves and the broader community. 

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