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The Dynamics of Public Participation in New Technology Transitions: the Case Of Dockless Bicycle Hire in Manchester

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New technologies are playing an increasingly important part in shaping the development of city transport and the wider built environment. Relatively litt le att ention has, however, been given to how the technologies evolve in social and political terms, so that the public are not just seen as the passive receivers of new technology. Technological transitions are not only about the technology, but also about the social and political implications of innovation and how people respond to the new mobility. Participatory exchange and the policy process are essential parts of that approach. This paper explores the dynamics of how a technological innovation failed as a niche-innovation in terms of the socio-technical transitions framework. It uses the case study of the Mobike dockless bicycle hire scheme in Manchester to illustrate the reasons for failure. These included poor participatory practice in the earlier stages of the scheme, together with the inability of the innovator to respond appropriately through participatory exchange, including the direct participation of the public through the technology, in the implementation stage.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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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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