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Click to Expand Gallery A U-Turn to the Future: Sustainable Urban Mobility since 1850

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Volume 4

Explorations in Mobility

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A U-Turn to the Future

Sustainable Urban Mobility since 1850

Edited by Martin Emanuel, Frank Schipper, and Ruth Oldenziel

350 pages, 20 illustrations, bibliog., index, free digital instructor's guide

ISBN  978-1-78920-559-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-560-2 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®

Instructor's Guide available for course use.


“This is the book I’ve been waiting to read: an investigation into how our cities came to be as unsustainable as they apparently were in the recent past. It uncovers hidden histories containing important clues for how to make cities more sustainable in the future.” • Daniel Gordon, Edge Hill University

“The entire book is innovative, accessible, and well-written, with an interdisciplinary approach that combines history, sociology, economics, geography, and a number of other fields.” • Keith Laybourn, University of Huddersfield


From local bike-sharing initiatives to overhauls of transport infrastructure, mobility is one of the most important areas in which modern cities are trying to realize a more sustainable future. Yet even as politicians and planners look ahead, there remain critical insights to be gleaned from the history of urban mobility and the unsustainable practices that still impact our everyday lives. United by their pursuit of a “usable past,” the studies in this interdisciplinary collection consider the ecological, social, and economic aspects of urban mobility, showing how historical inquiry can make both conceptual and practical contributions to the projects of sustainability and urban renewal.

Martin Emanuel is a historian of technology affiliated with the Department of Economic History, Uppsala University with a profile on mobility, urban, and tourism history. He is the author of Trafikslag på undantag: Cykeltrafiken i Stockholm 1930–1980 [Excluded through Planning: Bicycle Traffic in Stockholm 1930–1980] (2012) and co-author of Cycling Cities: The European Experience (2016).

Frank Schipper is a historian of technology and an independent scholar specializing in mobility and infrastructure studies. He is the author of Driving Europe: Building Europe on Roads in the Twentieth Century (2008) and, most recently, co-author of Cycling Cities: The Rotterdam Experience (2019).

Ruth Oldenziel is a professor in the History Division of the Technology, Innovation, and Society Department at Eindhoven University of Technology, where she heads the research program “Sustainable Urban Mobility, 1880s-Present.” She has published widely in the areas of American, transatlantic, gender, and technology studies, most recently as co-author of the volumes Cycling Cities: The European Experience (2016) and Engineering the Future, Understanding the Past (2017).

Instructor's Guide available to accompany the text.

Subject: Mobility Studies History (General) Urban Studies Transport Studies


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