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Mobility intersections: Gender, family, culture and location in the Gauteng City-Region

Parker, Alexandra and Rubin, Margot ORCID: 2023. Mobility intersections: Gender, family, culture and location in the Gauteng City-Region. Urban Forum 34 , pp. 463-479. 10.1007/s12132-022-09479-3

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The morphology of many South African cities has changed little over the last 25 years: with some of the poorest communities still living on the peripheries in informal settlements and old townships. The resulting spatial mismatch, with difficulties of access and mobility, has been recorded and engaged with elsewhere; the day-to-day implications for households and families have been less well-considered. In work that was undertaken between March 2019 and February 2020 using a mixed-method approach that included focus groups, a smartphone mobility app, mapping and qualitative interviews, as well as, the use of other on-line communication platforms such as WhatsApp to gather data, the team looked at the intersection between mobility, access and household dynamics. Results surface and highlight how old spatial planning logics have direct impact on contemporary spatial footprints, mobility patterns and transit choices. Former ‘White’ neighbourhoods, designed to be relatively self-contained and meet the needs of the suburban population, still ensure relatively small spatial footprints that are car-reliant. While those living in older informal settlements and townships still have the burden of long distances to access economic and often educational advancement. Similarly, the historical layout of transport modes continues to affect the day-to-day decisions of modal choice. However, these spatial patterns and historical transit planning are overlaid with gender expectations and gendered divisions of labour—as women continue to carry most of the childcare and domestic responsibilities and men continue to feel the necessity for household income provision. Thus, historical and continued segregation in the city-region intersects with diverse dimensions of race, class and culture to perpetuate widespread gendered mobility patterns in the Gauteng City-Region.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1015-3802
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2022
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 15:10

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