Degrowth Urban Mobilities and Insights into how Universities Interact with its Themes.
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Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges dealing with the effect of anthropogenic climate change on the planet. Without radical solutions across all sectors of society aimed at addressing these climate problems, the world risks tipping over the 1.5°C warming limit as set out in the Paris agreement. To meet these challenges some academics are calling for a transition to a new socio-economic paradigm, degrowth, which prioritises equity in living standards and maintaining the planetary boundaries above economic growth. One of the sectors which degrowth is looking to influence is the mobility sector, which has historically had a close relationship to growth and environmental emissions. But enabling radical social change is a difficult task, however, educational institutions have been citied as a special case when it comes to societal change and could help degrowth challenge the growth hegemony. To help foster this change. this study looks to explore what the main themes of degrowth urban mobility and how university interact with degrowth. This will be done by taking a deductive and inductive approach to this question, using a mixture of literature study and interviews with scholars to do so. The result of this study is that degrowth urban mobility can be categorised by 4 themes, 1. as a counter to the hegemony of growth mobility, 2. As a balance of tensions within degrowth urban mobility, 3. As a warning against techno-optimism, but not to appropriate technology use, and 4. As a chance to remake the urban. The study also used insights gained from academic scholars to construct a framework to investigate how universities interact with the societal need for degrowth, through investigating its links to degrowth urban mobility. The results of this is that universities are failing to act in a socially responsible manner toward degrowth urban mobility through its social and organisational impacts. However, in its educational and cognitive impacts, the picture is mixed, with studies on geography aligning with degrowth urban mobility principles, but engineering failing in this. This suggests that universities have a lot to do before becoming socially responsible for degrowth futures, and more research should be undertaken to examine these links between universities and degrowth.