The Doctoral Program in Architecture and Sciences of the City (EDAR) has the pleasure to invite you to the conference with: 
Prof. Karen Lucas from the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.
October 6th, 2017 / 10 a.m. / AAC 1 06 EPFL
Driving to the breadline: the auto motives of low income households

Driving to the breadline
Research confirms that, in the context of highly mobile western societies, there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between transport poverty (lack of access to both private and public mobility resources) and social disadvantage and exclusion.  Unlike Australia or the United States, car dependency has not fully taken hold in the UK – a quarter of households still do not have regular access to a car. Non-car owning households are overwhelmingly concentrated in the lowest income quintile of the population, approximately half of households in this lowest quintile own cars. These households make significantly less trips and travel much shorter distances than their car-owning counterparts. This often leads to non-participation in a range of life-enhancing activities, such as employment, education, health care and food shopping.

It is perhaps for these reasons of social inclusion that car ownership among low-income households in the UK has increased more rapidly year on year than for the other income sectors. Although it may appear intuitively obvious, this statistical trend actually tells us very little about the actual motivations behind why people living on or near ‘the breadline’ (i.e. in poverty) are willing to commit so much of their resources to owning and running a private vehicle. They do so even when they find it difficult to afford other basic necessities, such as food, warmth, shelter and clothing.
My presentation will explore their ‘auto motives’ based upon case study evidence from studies that I have conducted with low income populations over the last 20 years.

Swiss Mobility Conference


20 & 21 October 2016 – University of Lausanne


The Swiss Mobility Conference (SMC) is the result of a collaboration between the chairs of urban sociology (EPFL) and geography of mobilities (UNIL). Its objective is to provide a place for discussion and debate for researchers in social sciences working on various forms of mobility.

Presentations will take place both in English and French (no simultaneous translation is planned during the conference) and will address mobilities in their diversity, revolving around the following themes:

  • theoretical debates
  • methodological innovations
  • public policy and decision making in mobility
  • regulation of mobility and its tools
  • the actors and their logics of action (residential choice, modal practices, multilocal living, etc.)
  • the norms and values underlying mobility and social inequality
  • temporality and spatiality of mobility
  • mobility prospective


  • Laboratoire de sociologie urbaine, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Institut de géographie et durabilité, Université de Lausanne



Urban Ropeway Solutions


We are happy to invite you to a lecture by Dr. Johannes Fiedler entitled URBAN ROPEWAY SOLUTIONS
The lecture takes place on Friday, October 30, 2015 from 11:30 to 13:00 in Room AAC 106 et EPFL.

Johannes Fiedler is an architect and urban planner based in Austria. He has consulted on numerous urban development projects in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He taught at multiple universities, such as TU Braunschweig, TU Berlin and EiABC Addis Ababa. Now Johannes Fiedler is research director at Doppelmayr Urban Solutions. Doppelmayr is the world-leading manufacturer of cable transport.

CONTEXT: In the past decade a new generation of urban ropeways emerged – especially in South America, but also in Europe and around the Mediterranean. Ropeways can overcome various obstacles not only in an energy efficient way, but also open a new access to the city both for locals and visitors. The presentation shows a selection of new urban ropeway systems and further demonstrates what role this mode of transportation can play for sustainable transportation systems. 
And: What are the social and political conditions that make ropeways an attractive urban solution?

We look forward to welcoming you to this innovative presentation.


La mobilité comme dimension des inégalités sociales

Les actes du colloque “La mobilité comme dimension des inégalités sociales” organisé par l’agence de développement et d’urbanisme de l’agglomération strasbourgeoise (ADEUS) auquel a participé Vincent Kaufmann sont désormais en ligne.



Homegrown Neighbourhoods Workshop

Le LaSUR organise un workshop en Inde en collaboration avec des chercheurs de la Columbia University, du Max Plank Institut et du Polytechnico de Turin sur les thèmes, habitat, espace public et mobilité.

Plus d’info ici



MSFS 2012 conference

Le GT 23 de l’AISLF « Mobilités spatiales et fluidités sociales » organise son colloque 2012 à Lausanne en Suisse les 30 et 31 octobre 2012 sur le thème des représentations et imaginaires de la mobilité. 

Pour son 11ème colloque, le groupe francophone MSFS organise une session commune avec le réseau Cosmobilities.