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Title: Facilitating a contested practice : building and growing urban transport cycling in Santiago de Chile
Author: Wesslowski, Viktoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 3323
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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This research aims to achieve a better understanding of interventions in the trajectories of practices. It is based on a case study of transport cycling in Santiago de Chile. The research uses a practice approach combined with concepts from Science and Technology Studies in order to explore the practice of transport cycling and examine interventions aimed at increasing the modal share of cycling in Santiago. The research is based on qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, participant observation, photography and document analysis. While transport cycling is a recognisable practice in Santiago, it is also the site of several conflicts. The stigmatisation of cycling in its recent history as mode of transport for the most marginalised part of the urban population is challenged by new images of cycling as environmentally-friendly, healthy mode of transport for young professionals. As cycling becomes more popular, conflicts over the location of cycling emerge with motorists as well as pedestrians. Finally, different performances and understandings of cycling have generated conflicts among the urban transport cyclists. By focusing on relations between practices, the research thereby brings to the forefront the contested nature of practices which has so far been underemphasised in practice research. The research then focuses on interventions in the trajectory of urban transport cycling in Santiago, how they are developed and how they take effect. The research identifies two categories of interventions: building practice and growing practice. Building practice is the government-led provision of material infrastructure for cycling, while growing practice is led by civil society and includes a variety of small-scale interventions in the everyday engagement in the practice. The research argues that building practice produces infrastructure which is developed within the dominant system of automobility and is shaped by and reflects the inherent conflicts of the practice. Growing practice interventions are shaped by the core of the community of practice. They do not only provide targeted support for individuals, but more importantly contribute to the creation of a community of practice. This research aims to contribute to practice research by proposing a relational perspective for the analysis of practices, which emphasises five relational dimensions of practice: the individual situated experience of the performance in which meaning is created, the socio-technical system in which the practice is embedded, the relations between co-existing practices which bring to the forefront the contested nature of practices, the material infrastructure which emerges from the socio-technical system and shapes the performance of the practice, and finally the community of practice which constitutes practice and may be able to grow practice.
Supervisor: Guy, Simon; Minuchin, Leandro Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Practices ; Urban transport cycling ; Interventions ; Socio-technical systems ; Infrastructure ; Communities of practice ; Relational perspective ; Santiago ; Chile