Mobility Infrastructures: Modern Visions, Affective Environments, and the Problem of Car Parking

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This paper builds upon recent research on mobility infrastructures to question the usefulness of the mobility/moorings binary and suggest that scholars should examine the practices of infrastructuring by which mobile subjects, affects and environments emerge. The paper outlines recent work on the affective qualities of mobility infrastructures before examining some of the diverse discourses, feelings and atmospheres which have gathered around the humble British car park over the past 50 years. It examines how the affective and experiential qualities of car parks and parking became commodified by car park designers, urban redevelopers and landscape architects, as new techniques and technologies were adopted to prevent wasteful ‘space-searching’ and design secure, safe, pleasant and aesthetically pleasing spaces. Finally, the paper examines some of the discourses and regulative practices which have gathered around the direct and indirect environmental impacts of parking provision and parking policies, from their influence on local ecology and hydrology, to the use of parking regulations and charges to try and reshape people’s mobility habits and reduce their environmental footprints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016


  • Affect
  • Automobile
  • Behaviour
  • Driving
  • Space


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