Our starting point is a recognition that human activity has resulted in entry into a new era: the Anthropocene. As starkly stated by Richardson et al (2023) “Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity” (see also Rockström 2023). Consequently, transitions to less destructive and more sustainable ways of living become increasingly urgent.
The idea of Anthropocene citizenship can be used to explore the ways in which we can live together with planet and people more responsibly and this lecture highlights particular values and qualities that help build less destructive ways of living. In particular, we will focus on everyday movement and how the ways we choose to move both express and nurture different attitudes even when we are unaware of their consequences. Emphasizing that we learn by doing, the everyday choices we make about travel are an important expression of the values we hold (or purport to).
Since one of the primary means of learning is by doing, in practical terms, walking and cycling journeys can teach us many things about our relationships to the world if we begin to ask the right questions and to perceive the possibilities inherent in what have been called slow mobilities. In this way, the lecture establishes the grounds for the practical journeying workshops which will follow later this same week (one on Wednesday and one on Thursday).
Peter Cox is professor of sociology at the University of Chester, UK. His research and work published over the last twenty years focuses on cycling and sustainable mobilities. Cox has worked extensively with arange of academic, civil society and activist groups and networks. As a Critical Pathways Fellow he will focus on the theme of Anthropocene Mobilities, examining how our everyday travel teaches us different ways of being in the world and learning to listen to the voices of the built environment and the voices of human as well as more-than-human bodies.