Most visions of future modes of urban mobility advance highly “auto-philic” conceptions centered on hydrogen-powered vehicles and other alternative fuel technologies. Consistent with this preconceived orientation, attention has shifted in recent years toward autonomous cars that operate on the basis of artificial intelligence and require little or no control by the driver. The problem with these approaches is that they do little to break the stranglehold of automobile dependency and only take us deeper down the path of vehicular reliance. My work on mobility futures adopts a system-oriented perspective and seeks to understand prevailing mobility practices in terms of habituated routines, entrenched social norms, designed infrastructures, and political and economic power. Research that I have carried out in this area utilizes a framework informed by the need for sustainable systems innovation and seeks to map out opportunities for a transition toward non-motorized modes. The objective is to gradually reappropriate public space that has long been allocated exclusively to cars and repurpose it for pedestrianization and bicyclization and to build capacity for intermodality with public transportation. Somewhat separately, I have also done work on the future of aeromobility with attention devoted primarily to the challenges engendered by an ongoing shift toward more personalized forms of aviation.

Related Journal Articles


Anticipating Post-automobility: Design Policies for Fostering Urban Mobility Transitions, International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development 7(2):147–195 (with Esther Zipori)


The Future of Automobile Society: A Sociotechnical Perspective, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 24(4):377–390


Destination Unknown: Pursuing Sustainable Mobility in the Face of Rival Societal Aspirations, Research Policy 39(4):459–470


Sustainable Mobility Transitions and the Challenge of Countervailing Trends: The Case of Personal Aeromobility, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 21(2):249–265


A Social Problems Framework for the Critical Appraisal of Automobility and Sustainable Systems Innovation, Mobilities 1(1):23–38


Industrial Ecology and the Automotive Transport System: Can Ford Shape the Future Again? Journal of Industrial Ecology 8(3):14–17 (with Arnold Tukker)

Related Media


Changing Our Car Culture, The New York Times, 7 April


Sharrows a Sign of Relief from Auto Culture, Princeton Packet, 30 August (2011).

Last updated February 12, 2016