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Urban Transport Systems in Bogot and Copenhagen: An Approach from STS

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Abstract:

In this paper we explore the socio-technical dynamics of developing new urban transport systems. Based on the analysis of empirical material from the study of the Transmilenio in Bogot and the Metro in Copenhagen, we propose that the design, construction and operation of urban transport systems constitute a process where the actors involved negotiate and actively distribute agency in the components of the new system. The character and outcome of this process play a role in the stabilization of the system over time. Additionally, this process takes place in a setting dominated by established actors: institutions, technologies and interest groups. We analyse this setting as an arena of development, a concept that provides a framework to account for the interaction of existing and new systems. Our approach is based on theoretical developments from Science and Technology Studies, especially Actor-Network Theory and Large Technological Systems, and contributes to the current research on the dynamics of change and permanence in built environments.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2148/benv.34.2.200

Publication date: May 29, 2008

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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