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Being able to move around cities is a basic requirement for the development of most human activities. Yet daily trips between home and work, study, leisure, and other daily commitments are not always done under the most comfortable conditions, whether it be because of crowded public transportation or unexpected traffic jams. Urban mobility is a hotly debated topic, from informal conversation circles to technical and scientific seminars. It's hard to find someone who doesn't have an opinion on the subject or some miraculous solution to the problems in their city or region. In fact, we have already posted several articles addressing this issue on this site, from utopian proposals to questions related to the daily lives of most of the population. Our cities continuously grow and reinvent themselves through public policies and the initiatives of private entities that adhere to diverse interests, with accessibility infrastructure being sponsored primarily by state investments. Brazilian author Flavio Villaça points out that notions of “near and far,” “well located and poorly located” cannot be reduced to simple physical distances. They are produced through transport systems, the availability of vehicles for different strata of income (cars vs. public transport), spatial distributions of social strata, places of employment, shopping and service areas, and urban centers (which do not always correspond to old urban centers). Places that are more 'connected' and located in more socially desirable areas are considered more valuable. While some may choose where to live, many others reside only where it is possible. This may put certain residents closer or further from their work or from the centers of culture and leisure in their city. Thus, urban space reproduces, amplifies, and consolidates the inequalities of society. And mobility is one of the most brutal daily indicators of these disparities, due to the painful methods of transportation that a large portion of the population has to go through. View more View full description
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