chapter  2
23 Pages

The ‘long mobile century’

From streetcar suburbs to auto-mobility
ByBarr Stewart, Prillwitz Jan, Ryley Tim, Shaw Gareth

Without doubt, the twentieth century has witnessed a revolution in mobility that has changed the lives of billions of people, not only in terms of how they personally experience travel, but in the products, services and technologies that afford experiences, which were once imaginaries fed by a few travel writers who made difficult and dangerous journeys around the globe. This chapter explores contemporary debates on transport and mobility within this important historical context. It examines the development of mechanised transport in the mid-twentieth century, focusing on both the revolutionary steam locomotive for long-distance travel and the impacts of technologies such as the streetcar and underground railway for commuting within settlements. The chapter focuses on both the streetcar suburb and the auto-suburb to explore how mobility is intricately related to how our contemporary living spaces are configured and the ways it is implicated in how we relate to place.