Puncturing automobility? Carsharing practices

Jennifer L. Kent*, Robyn Dowling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary scholarship and policy emphasise problems with car use. Though there is a strongly held view that the system of private car use may be impossible to shift, in this paper we consider one mode of car-based mobility - carsharing - through which subtle challenges to the dominant regime are made. Carsharing is an emerging transportation industry in which drivers access a fleet of shared vehicles for short-term use. This paper pursues a conceptual and investigative exploration of the emergence and endurance of carsharing as an alternative mode and offers a number of novel insights into ways the private car system might be challenged. Using a practice based framework of analysis, we focus not on the various structures or agents influential in carsharing's relative success, but on the way carsharing endures as a routinely performed social practice. It reveals a wide range of mundane footholds for behavioural change, as well as demonstrates the profound complexity implied by any attempt to challenge, and change, deeply entrenched practices of day-to-day mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Automobility
  • Carsharing
  • Practices
  • Sustainable transport
  • Technology


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