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Politics, mobility and space: the bicycle in the city of São Paulo

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Leticia Lindenberg Lemos
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU/SBI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Raquel Rolnik; Monika Weronika Dowbor; Fabio Kon; Paula Freire Santoro; Silvana Maria Zioni
Advisor: Raquel Rolnik

Over the past ten years, São Paulo has gone through an intense and contentious process to open space in the road system for commuting cycling. In a city historically built and adapted to favor the automobile, the historical process which allowed for the municipality to remove parking space to build more than four hundred kilometers of bike baths and lanes during a four-year term did not develop without much hindrance, advancements, and retreats. This thesis proposes to illuminate the political and historical constitution of the agenda for cycling policies along with its conflicts and contradictions. It shows the developments that led to implementing this public policy and the inclusion of cycling in this car-centric metropolis, although restricted to the middle-class territory. To this end, the analyses presented here use the literature of four areas: debates about territorial and socio-spatial segregation, authors in the field of Political Science that study State-societal interactions, debates on the field of sociology about the system of automobility and its implications, and the literature about socio-technical transitions from automobility, all firmly grounded on vast primary sources. The present thesis seeks to show that the claim for bicycle policies emerges as a niche in the dominant regime of automobility, a counter-hegemonic demand standing against the automobile\'s dominance in the road system. It also gained supporters in the corporate world and resistances outside and inside the State throughout the process. Finally, cycling in São Paulo turned from a niche into a subaltern regime within the dominant regime of automobility. Though far from a desired systemic reach, that particular change was responsible for the important gains for cycling in São Paulo (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/11198-7 - Cycling advocacy and the struggle for the urban space in São Paulo
Grantee:Letícia Lindenberg Lemos
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate