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Maja Essebo

Maja Essebo

Director of Studies, Researcher

Maja Essebo

Contradictions of Sustainable Mobility - The Illogic of Growth and the Logic of Myth

Author

  • Maja Essebo
  • Guy Baeten

Summary, in English

This paper presents the prospects of viewing sustainable mobility as a merger of seemingly opposing values and ideas into a coherent and fully emplotted myth. Myth, in this sense, is not a false story meant to amuse or discredit, but rather a story based on naturalised beliefs giving it the supremacy of the obvious. Through the process of emplotment, myths create internal logics that help relieve anxiety, rationalise behaviour and naturalise societal and individual convictions. As such, myths are a fundamental and habitual part of life. The myth of sustainable mobility is not one, but two stories that of development as quantitative growth and the discourse of sustainability which are merged, emplotted and naturalised. It is based on the fears of economic and environmental collapse, but while fear is an essential characteristic of myth and a source of much of its power the myth also offers hope. The hope lies in the promise of continued trends of increased mobility while still being able to preserve the world for future generations. This entangles the very notions of mobility, development and sustainability, creating a confusion of concepts as the contrast between growth and limits wanes. Rather than setting biophysical limits, sustainability becomes a justification for continued growth green growth, sustainable mobility.

Department/s

  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year

2012

Language

English

Pages

555-565

Publication/Series

Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie

Volume

103

Issue

5

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Topic

  • Human Geography

Keywords

  • sustainable mobility
  • myth
  • growth
  • naturalisation
  • beliefs
  • contradictions

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0040-747X