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The Spaces of Parking: Mapping the Politics of Mobility in San Francisco

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Abstract: 

Recently a “mobility turn” has entered critical geographic discourse. This mobility turn recognizes that mobility is at once physical movement and contains social meanings that are manifested in a politics of mobility. In this paper I contribute to this emerging line of inquiry by exploring how the politics of mobility is manifested in localized urban processes. Mobility, as with the broader localized urban process, is political and ideological, and this is particularly true with contemporary debates about automobiles and parking in cities. I explore parking as an example of the broader contestation of urban space, using a case study of San Francisco, California. There are three broad factions in San Francisco's parking debates—progressives that advocate for less parking, neoliberals that advocate that market-based pricing determine the amount of parking, and neoconservatives that advocate for more parking. Throughout the paper, I provide thoughts on the relationship between parking, space, ideology, and the broader urban process.
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Keywords: neoconservatives; neoliberalism; politics of mobility; progressive politics; urban process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA;, Email: jhenders@sfsu.edu

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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