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Congestion

Authored by: Melissa Butcher

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134

10.4324/9781315857572.ch44

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Abstract

The city has become a productive space to explore the impact of human mobility, and its juxtaposition, congestion. It is a site where interaction is unavoidable, generating both conflict and conviviality, as transnational and local flows of people, technology, capital and media become imbricated, adding to the city’s complexity and physical and affective sense of congestion. On a daily basis infrastructure and forms of transport must be negotiated, along with crowds that roil through streets and transit stations, dispersing into suburbia, estates, slums, terraces and the condominiums of gentrifying neighbourhoods. Residents, deploying competencies acquired over time, go with the flow, step to the side to avoid collision, or watch for breaks in the traffic and interstitial breathing spaces. These negotiations are inflected by personal dispositions of, as Bauman (2007) puts it, mixophilia and mixophobia: the love of the city and all its crowds, and its inverse proposition, the fear of the city with all its strangers.

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