Phd s van brussel art of governing


Suzanne Van Brussel

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303 pages

DOI code


Mobility problems increasingly become complex, and in order to respond to them, the decision-making processes and proposed solutions must also become more complex; they should by no means ignore this complexity by creating standard solutions. Solutions are often strongly viewed and formulated from the infrastructural-technical (hardware) and technological and user-oriented (software) angle, while an appropriate organization or "orgware" to be able to

cope with such complexity is lacking. Yet, mobility is much more than just the construction of infrastructure or the development of new vehicle technology; it is influenced by so many other policy areas and evolutions, and by individual and collective customs. Each of us can be held responsible in the mobility transition. There is general acceptance that, in order to initiate a mobility transition, our behaviour – the way we act and govern – must also change.

In this dissertation we reveal a necessary orgware agenda, based on real-world complex case studies that provide insight into some recent, important orgware innovations in mobility: developing a regional cooperation for mobility, the transport regions, and dealing with complexity in large infrastructure projects. By visualising the mobility orgware, we try to materialise the use and the added value of the orgware approach. We focus on mapping the actors and the institutional context and we analyse how these two influence each other. In order to play with complexity and progress towards a more sustainable mobility, we propose an orgware agenda that aims to structurally connect a variety of actors across the various related policy areas. Therefore, the necessary conditions or institutional changes should be introduced as well, so that there are no obstacles to the new partnerships. This research is a plea for a co-evolutionary orgware approach to mobility to complement the conventional hardware and software approaches.

About the author

Suzanne Van Brussel (1991) holds a Master's degree in Urbanism and Spatial Planning (Ghent University, 2014). From 2014 to 2018, she worked as a PhD researcher at the Centre for Mobility and Spatial Planning at Ghent University. Her research interests span the fields of spatial planning and mobility, and include urban governance, sustainable mobility, and citizen science in particular.