This specialization track of Urban Geography predominantly focuses on understanding daily activities and mobilities of individuals for work, shopping, leisure and other purposes. Who participates in these activities and which transport and communication modes do they use? What are their experiences? What are the implications of flows of people, products, money and information for the development of public places and cities? These and other questions will be based on the central idea that activities, mobilities and experiences are contextualized. The built environment as well as the presence of people, mobile objects (e.g. transport and communication modes) and natural conditions (e.g. day and night and weather) have a meaning for performing activities. These contexts are not fixed but dynamic in nature. Moreover, people’s practices construct urban places and spaces which, in turn, contextualise their activities.
In this specialization track a contextual view will be developed on the development of daily lives of residents and visitors of cities and implications for urban places and spaces. First, this issue will be addressed by reading ‘classic’ books in the field of cultures, consumption and mobilities. Main goal is to position them in the theoretical framework discussed in the Advanced Urban Geography course. Second, the course will discuss specific themes like aspects of daily travel , shopping and tourism, daytime and nighttime recreation and implications for the sense of places, virtual mobility (ICTs), as well as the design and regulation of public spaces. The relevance of daily activities for major societal issues like health, social integration and cohesion, climate change and transportation will also be discussed. In addition to the theories discussed in the Advanced Urban Geography course, additional theoretical perspectives, like the New Mobilities Paradigm, Public Space theory, Geographies of Consumption approaches and Emotional Geography will be introduced. Finally, implications for spatial policy and planning will be discussed.