Disruption and Fleximobility at the ECEEE Summer Study

In the first week of June, Jillian and Tim took the Disruption project to the European Council for and Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE) Summer Study in France.

Jillian gave a presentation on “Rethinking habitual travel patterns – what might ‘flexi-mobility’ mean for sustainable transport policies?”, prior to a well attended workshop session exploring the fleximobility concept in an international context with the mixed academic and practitioner paticipants.

Moving Behaviours Events

We will be working with the Travel Behaviours Network (http://www.travelbehaviours.net) to organise two end of project engagement events with the Future Cities Catapult and the Transport Systems Catapult.

The events will be held at the Future Cities Catapult in London on Monday 15th June, and at the Transport Systems Catapult in Milton Keynes on the Tuesday 23rd June.

Further infomration can be found here:

Disruption Panel Session on “Unlocking Low Carbon Mobility” at American Association of Geographers

On 24th April, the project organised a panel session at the American Association of Geographers Annual Conference in Chicago.

The panel session was chaired by Tim Chatterton, with Disruption members James Faulconbridge, Jillian Anable and Iain Docherty on the panel alongside Tim Schwanen from the University of Oxford, Harvey Miller from Ohio State University, Katherine Reese from American University and Deborah Salon from Arizona State University.

Session Details

Scales of Disruption: Methods, Experiences and Insights for Change

On Tuesday 10th February, the Disruption Project held a joint workshop with the AHRC “Material Cultures of Energy” project at Birkbeck College in London.

The aim of the workshop was to take stock of current approaches to disruption, to reflect on methodologies and to think about insights for attempts to change how we live. The various scales of disruption (temporal, spatial, planned/unplanned; novel/repetitive) were used as a way into this multi-faceted subject.

Questions were asked about what disruptions can reveal about the workings of infrastructures and the importance of particular habits or practices in people’s lives. Individuals’ and institutions’ experiences of disruption as a practical, emotional and moral event, were discussed and what these can tell us about the degree of flexibility and expectations of a “normal life”. The overall aim was to gather insights from the research for practitioners thinking about managing disruption in the future, and how and when disruption is seen as a threat to established systems and daily routines, and when as a catalyst for change and innovation.

In the course of the day, the discussion of these different scales and dimensions was linked to the perspectives of practitioners (from DECC, Defra, TfL and Climate UK) who are confronting disruption with a final session bringing together the insights from disruption for our understanding of “normal” life and the potential for change.

AHRC/EPSRC Disruption Workshop

WP2 Report on the Ethnographies of Mobilities and Disruption

Between Spring 2012 and Summer 2014, 23 families and 36 individuals in Brighton, and 16 families and 25 individuals in Lancaster participated in a major ethnographic study of their travel and mobility patterns, with particular focus on how disruptions to their lives affected these.

The work concluded that the  concepts of ‘normality’, ‘routine’ and ‘habit’ need to be discarded as the baselines for understanding mobility. People are constantly negotiating disruptions to their everyday mobility, and this suggests there is capacity for change that needs to be unlocked. Viewing mobility practice through ‘averages’ obscures our view of this capacity.

WP2 summary report (final) March 2015

WP2 Report (final) March 2015


The Disruption project has now spent time considering the results of our research over the last 3 years and begun to assess how the data we have gathered can be interpreted in order to support transport policy.  To this end we have come up with a concept we call ‘Flexi-mobility’ which, we believe, represents a new and helpful way of thinking about how people travel, and how policy could move society towards more sustainable patterns of mobility.

Flexi-mobility recognises that almost everyone gets around by a range of transport options. Some of the time. At some points in their life.

Flexi-mobility supports the development of more flexible travelers and systems which allow for more flexibility in whether and how we get about. On this website we set out a vision where it is normal for people to consider making journeys by a range of modes.

Flexi-mobility builds on existing social trends, technological change and a recognition that lock-in to our existing policies will not solve the environmental, health, economic and social challenges we face.

We have set out details of the Flexi-mobility concept in a Green Paper available for download here.

We also have a short consultation survey that we would be grateful if you could fill in if you read the Green Paper.  It is available here.


Scottish Workshop on Flexi-mobility

On 12th February,  Caroline, Tim, Jillian and Iain held a workshop in Glasgow to test and develop the ‘Flexi-mobility’ concept.  The afternoon was attended by a range of transport practitioners, including representatives from Transport Scotland, Glasgow City Council Living Streets and Abelio.

Again, the reaction of practitioners was that the concept of flexi-mobility helped to think about the problems of implementing sustainable transport in a new and helpful manner.