Local community, individual mobility, and quality of life
Last modified: 2011-03-03
This paper is related to current norms of regional enlargement and individual mobility that are being manifested in regional development policy both at the EU level and in specific national contexts. In the paper, these norms are being contrasted with experiences and stories from residents who live in communities where long-term commuting is supposed to increase. What are the resident’s experiences from getting around from home to work, school or leisure activities? How do they perceive their quality of life and sense of belonging in the local community and how is that affected by the ‘need’ to travel sometimes quite long distances every day? How do they think about local qualities and the future development of their community?
The study illustrates aspects of (in)equality and power in relation spatial development by identifying stories, perspectives and spatial representations that are invisible or marginalised in the current regional development planning discourse. The study gives concrete examples of how the benefits of regional enlargement are unequally distributed between different groups at different geographical locations. It identifies dreams, desires and mobility ideals that deviate from the “common sense” in current regional development policy discourse, and is in itself a clear example of the need to question the current postpolitical discourse on regional development.