Micro-mobility use in times of uncertainty: An Auckland case study
This item is part of: Boarin, P., Haarhoff, E., Manfredini, M., Mohammadzadeh, M., Premier, A., (2021). Rethinking Sustainable Pacific Rim Territories. Proceedings of the 2020 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub PhD Symposium, Future Cities Research Hub, School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Auckland. ISBN: 978-0-473-53616-9
The current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has challenged urban mobilities of all kinds. Micro-mobility had been long recognised as an alternative transport mode for short-distance trips, but has been largely ignored in New Zealand cities in response to safe and alternative urban mobilities during the pandemic. Using Auckland in New Zealand as a case study, this paper explores micro-mobility devices used during the pandemic. It shows that in Auckland, the reactive way of comprehending micro-mobility in the city created confusion about the current and future use of such devices and services, impeded infrastructure management, especially the pedestrian environment, and challenged the right to the public realm. Apart from future research projects, this paper suggests that, with clear policies and regulations, not only can micro-mobility be an additional option for frontline workers and citizens during a time of uncertainty, but they can also be part of the integrated transport system and an alternative for personal and short-distance trips that are mostly undertaken by cars. This paper will further contribute to UN’s Sustainable development goal 9, which advocates the resilient infrastructure, and promote sustainable industrialisation and technological innovation.