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A gender analysis of everyday mobility in urban and rural territories: from challenges to sustainability

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Gender differences in mobility patterns between women and men have long been acknowledged. This study analyses how these differences are reproduced in different urban and rural contexts. Using mobility data from a large travel survey taken in 2006 in Spain, we examine the differences between gender mobility through age, modal split and trip purposes. Special attention is paid to how territory shapes mobility and how these territorial settings differently affect gendered mobilities. The use of this data source allows the comparison of all trips made by the total population, including all means of transport. By taking a global view on mobility, the uneven relationships that men and women have with different means of transport become more visible. After disaggregating data by age and territorial settings, results show that women are using sustainable transport modes more often than men, and travelling for more diverse reasons. Gender is thus a fundamental variable in understanding modal split and, by extension, transport sustainability, in terms of energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. From this point of view, we consider women's mobility knowledge and practices – typically related to the most sustainable means of transport – as factors with rising value that could effectively guide public policy in its way to promote more sustainable mobility patterns.
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Keywords: daily mobility; gender; género; movilidad cotidiana; rural; sustainable; sustentable; transport; transporte; urban; urbano

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Geography Department and the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, CP 08193, Spain

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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