Long-distance travel constitutes an increasing share of overall personal mobility. Within Sweden alone, it represents more than 50 % of energy used for personal transportation on a daily basis (Vilhelmson 2000). To this adds a rapid increase in the frequency and spatial extension of international travel during the past decade (Frändberg & Vilhelmson 2002). This development reflects the fact that many people’s activity patterns (in working life, social life as well as during free time) are being stretched in geographical space as a consequence of technological, economic and social transformations commonly referred to as globalisation. However, the transport sector is a major contributor to environmental degradation and air pollution. International mobility is furthermore dominated by air transport, which is particularly problematic in relation to climate forcing.
This generates questions about the development, structure, driving forces, social basis and, not least, the potential for change, in long-distance mobility. Which are the groups and organisations that travel the most? To what extent is international travel susceptible to an increasing risk-awareness? What are the potentials for modal shifts or substitution by means of information- and communication technology?
The project focuses international mobility in the context of working life. This travel segment is dependent upon a different set of factors and a different “logic” as compared to international leisure mobility. It is also much more concentrated within the population, which is an important aspect when considering potentials for change.
In the projects first phase, an extensive survey of international travel from Swedish organisations and companies will be carried out for the purpose of identifying differences with respect to contact- and mobility intensity as well as positions within networks of various spatial extension. This part of the study will be based on information from several different sources, including interviews with key informants (i.e. representatives of the business travel industry). In the projects second phase a smaller number of contact- and mobility-intensive organisations and companies, with different environmental policies, will be studied more closely. At this stage, questions of susceptibility to change in relation to environmental policies or environmental management systems will be addressed more directly.
Petersson, L (2004) "Globalisation of working life mobility in Sweden. Development and potential for change from an environmental perspective".
Poster presented at; 30th Congress of the International Geographic Union, Glasgow, UK, 16-20 August 2004.
Telefon: 031 786 1415
Projektet är en del i "mobilitetsforsknindgruppen" vid kulturgeografiska institutionen.
Gruppens övriga medlemmar är:
Professor Bertil Vilhelmson (gruppledare/handledare)
Fil. dr. Lotta Frändberg
Fil. dr. Eva Thulin
Doktorande Kristina Lindström
Doktorand Ulf Ernstson