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Motility as a policy objective

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Western literature abounds with powerful imagery of mobility and travel, extolling the richness of experience and learning that can only happen along the way. The more common policy and research contexts consider travel and mobility as an important means to an end, valued relative to the destination activity. This review builds on the research that considers on-the-way benefits in order to expand this perspective as a part of transport studies. The question posed is if there is a place to evaluate mobility as a life-enhancing activity in its own right, directly contributing to the capacity for autonomy and freedom of choice that are central elements of personal well-being. Motility or mobility capital, defined as the capacity for mobility, offers a theoretical context for this purpose. The literature has adopted motility for its ability to broaden the understanding of mobility choices, by structuring a role for material, human, social and cultural capital as contributing to an individual’s capacity for mobility. The context of individual capital implies that motility holds value not only as an input to mobility choices, but also through its exchange value with other forms of capital, thereby promoting broader contexts for human flourishing. Therefore, motility has value as a policy objective for its contribution to individual well-being and this article further argues that it is through mobility experiences that this type of capital can be advanced.
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Keywords: Motility; mobility capital; personal well-being and transport; transport policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Transport Research Unit, Department of Geography and the Human Environment, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publication date: May 4, 2018

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