Space-Time Autonomy by Proximity - A Qualitative Study of Girls´ Accessibility by Proximity in Gothenburg
The urban city is a melting pot of different people, groups of people, experiences, desires, and strivings organized within a shared space and connected through a variety of networks. In this shared urban space, it is important to create equal accessibility to places, services, and activities essential for people's everyday life. Accessibility is a crucial issue within urban planning and for a long period increased mobility has been promoted and formed our cities on the basis of high mobility. However, a paradigm shift may be on the horizon where proximity rather than mobility is emphasised as the most sustainable and inclusive path to accessibility. This thesis study aims to bring forward the experiences of girls’ mobility patterns and the role of proximity for their everyday accessibility. To address this issue semi structured interviews with girls in upper secondary school were conducted. Handling further distances has become part of the girls´ everyday life since they entered upper secondary school in the central city. For traveling further distances the girls are mainly dependent on public transport. However, due to less frequent departures during evenings in combination with gender related constrictions the girls’ mobility during late hours is constricted. Key places within the public traffic system that are meant to facilitate mobility and increase accessibility instead become a hindrance for the girls´ mobility and accessibility at evenings and nights as these places are often associated with anxiety. This especially has an impact on their everyday social relations. Proximity to places and activities create an independence of fast means of travel and within short distances slow modes of traffic can be used facilitating the girls' accessibility and ability to use their time more freely, thereby increasing their space-time autonomy.