Resilient territories and mobility adaptation strategies in times of economic recession: Evidence from the metropolitan region of Barcelona, Spain 2004-2012

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Series Details Volume 25, Number 4, Pages 345-359
Publication Date October 2018
ISSN 0969-7764 (print) | 1461-7145 (online)
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The international financial crisis has affected people’s everyday activities, changing multiple aspects of their daily behavior. In countries deeply affected by the economic recession, the crisis has produced a significant incentive to change transport and mobility habits towards cheaper and affordable modes of transport. The impacts of the crisis have been spatially heterogeneous and socially diverse, and consequently mobility adaptation strategies depend on both territorial and social resilience.

The present paper analyzes the main changes of mobility habits that occurred between 2004-2012 in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, covering the end of the era of economic growth, and the advent and unfolding of the economic crisis. The research uses travel survey data to understand how different population groups have adapted their mobility to the crisis, and how core and outer metropolitan areas have shaped the adaptation strategies of their inhabitants.

The results show a general trend towards a rationalized use of private modes in favor of an increased use of shorter trips and non-motorized modes, but also show how social factors and urban forms interact to generate significant differences in mobility adaptation strategies.

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