Article ID: CBB062123435

The sociotechnical roots of smart mobility: Bike sharing since 1965 (August 2020)


The search for “smart” or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based mobility solutions goes back to at least the 1960s. The Provo anarchist Luud Schimmelpennink is well-known for designing mobility solutions and for being the driving force behind the 1965 “white-bike” experience. Less known is his 1968 project for shared electric cars (“Witkar”), which laid the foundations for the ICT-based bicycle sharing systems as we know today. By combining his talent for innovation with activism, he created a socially embedded design that could be part of the public transit system. Based on primary sources, we argue that these sociotechnical experiences paved the way for today’s mainstream bicycle sharing projects worldwide. We then show how since the 1990s, the Dutch railroad’s public transit bicycle (OV-fiets) has transformed Schimmelpennink’s original anarchist idea of bike sharing into a sustainable public transit system – a feat that has eluded other programmes worldwide: the integration of the bicycle’s share in a door-to-door experience.

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Authors & Contributors
Pursell, Carroll W.
Dunst, Alexander
George Martin
Pia Vuolanto
Marjo Kolehmainen
Tu, Wen-Ling
The Journal of Transport History
Science, Technology and Human Values
Technology and Culture
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
University of Chicago Press
MIT Press
Éditions La Découverte
University of Nebraska Press
Bloomsbury Academic, An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Land transportation
Social movements
Information technology
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
19th century
United States
United States. Securities and Exchange Commission
Mitsubishi Trading Company

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