I am an anthropologist/ sociologist of future mobility, currently working on two strands of research.

1. Everyday Futures explores how the future of practices, places and biographies can be conceptualised, researched and have impact on infrastructural decisions in the present and near future. Initial ideas were explored in an externally funded co-creation project Mobile Utopias: 1851-2051I subsequently established an international everyday futures research network and website with funding from the Institute for Social Futures and Design United, Netherlands with Dr Lenneke Kuijer, Eindhoven University of Technology. A Book of Essays on Everyday Futures is available on the website. I am currently working on a journal paper to consolidate these ideas.

2. Decarbonised Mobility and Social Futures i) I take a critical perspective on conceptualisations of travel demand underpinning transport planning, policy and transport futures. Within this context I have highlighted the contingency of demand, and developed conceptual tools to understand how demand is shaped, and how it is changing. I have also demonstrated how travel demand might be reconceptualised, and the implications for policy makers.  I am currently a Commissioner on the Commission on Travel Demand, and I lead the Lancaster theme of DecarboN8 (Social Acceptance and Societal Readiness) with Monika Buscher.

ii) I am developing empirical research around Dormant Vehicles. This work focuses on the materiality of mobility and in-between use situations as a way to research and imagine the implications of emergent transport futures for people and place. The work has developed through archival research in Stevenage New Town, a Public Sociology event (Parking in Utopia); an International Symposium ‘The Role of Parking in Future Cities’, and a peer reviewed journal paper (see publications).

I am a Lecturer at Lancaster University, UK, based in the Institute for Social Futures and the Department of Sociology. Previously I worked in the DEMAND Centre at Lancaster University and the Sustainable Practices Research Group at the University of Manchester. I have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Masters & PhD in Sociology.

If you are interested in finding out more then take a look at my Research, Writing, Talks and Engagement pages. If you would like to discuss anything, or find opportunities to work together, please get in touch n.spurling@lancaster.ac.uk

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