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U.Move 2.0 – The spatial and virtual mobility of teenagers and young adults
Client:In-house Research Project
Partner(s):Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Department of Applied Social Sciences (Professor Marcel Hunecke)
Time frame:06/2012 – 12/2015

The project analyses the influence of information and communication technology (ICT) on everyday life and daily mobility of teenagers and young adults. Currently, spatial and cultural sciences work with many assumptions concerning the connection between virtual and physical mobility. Unfortunately, these assumptions are seldom based on sufficient empirical data regarding effects of virtual mobility on mobility behaviour such as transportation mode choice. Hence, the research project looks at the interrelation of spatial and virtual mobility. It examines under which conditions physical mobility is substituted by virtual dataflow and communication by the use of ICT. It is also of interest, if trips are modified due to information or activities in social media or if additional trips are undertaken that weren’t planned or couldn’t be realised without the help of ICT.

The multi-method research design addresses young people between 14 to 24 years. The interviewees come from three social milieus – precariat, middle class and cosmopolitan. In the first survey phase, 180 teenagers and young adults participated in the Rhine-Ruhr area. In the second phase a nationwide online survey was conducted with more than 1200 respondents. The respondents recorded their trips and their ICT usage within a three day period (online survey one day). Additionally they stated about their mobility-related and their communication-related attitudes.


Project team:
  • Dr.-Ing. Dirk Wittowsky

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