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Mobilising the dispositive: Exploring the role of dockless public bike sharing in transforming urban governance in Shanghai

Lin, Wen-I and Spinney, Justin 2021. Mobilising the dispositive: Exploring the role of dockless public bike sharing in transforming urban governance in Shanghai. Urban Studies 58 (10) , pp. 2095-2116. 10.1177/0042098020937945

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This paper contributes to debates on urban governance and mobility through a case study of the transformation of public bike sharing schemes in Shanghai (China) from fixed/docked (PBSS 1.0) to flexible/dockless (PBSS 2.0). Based upon stakeholder interviews and observations between 2015 and 2017, we use the concept of a dispositive to foreground two related processes. The first is the reformulation of the governmental dispositive that coalesces around PBSS in Shanghai. We show how the relations within the dispositive shift from more hierarchical, bounded, regulated and state-led to those characterised by a more dispersed, disconnected, horizontal and distant set of social relations. Second, we show how this dispositive both produces and is produced by an emergent environmentality that manifests in a fixed territoriality in PBSS 1.0 and a more fluid and deterritorialised digital environmentality in PBSS 2.0. In framing this shift, we demonstrate how PBSS 2.0 produces a new dispositive of urban governmentality where the conduct of users is dispersed through a much less co-ordinated network of actors and technologies. Ultimately we argue that it is no longer possible to separate physical and virtual mobility when trying to understand the internal dynamics and external manifestations of mobility governance, which in our example are characterised by less localised and less hierarchical relationships that are more fluid, voluntary and physically distant.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0042-0980
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 June 2020
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2021 04:19

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