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Sustainable Mobility and the Institutional Lock-In: The Example of Rural France

by Aurore Flipo 1,*, Madeleine Sallustio 2, Nathalie Ortar 1 and Nicolas Senil 2

Abstract

Sustainable mobility issues in rural areas, compared with urban mobility issues, have so far been poorly covered in the French and European public debate. However, local mobility issues are determining factors in territorial inequalities, regional development and ecological transition. This paper is based on preliminary findings of qualitative socio-anthropological fieldwork carried out in two rural departments of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region: Drôme and Ardèche. Our objective is to highlight how the question of sustainable local mobility is linked to governance issues and multiple overlapping institutions. We argue that analyzing stakeholders’ strategies and territorial governance is key to understanding the contemporary dynamics surrounding a transition towards a more sustainable mobility in rural areas. In order to do so, we show how the debates surrounding the adoption of a law allowing for the transfer of responsibility to local authorities for the organization of mobility services reveals the complexity of local mobility governance in rural areas and provides material for the analysis of the logics of stakeholder engagement, cooperation and conflict within the field of sustainable mobility. Through the case study of the organization of a local public transport service in a rural area, we shed light on the action of multiple stakeholders and their potentially antagonistic objectives.

Keywords: territorial governance; sustainable mobility; rural areas; transportation; bus; regional development; decentralization; LOM; mobility justice; France

Link : https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/4/2189/htm