Research on Mobility and Social Exclusion

Many people in Germany are socially excluded. They earn little money and cannot partake in public life as they would like to.

This inequality is salient in their daily lives: Low-income citizens travel less often and cover shorter distances than persons with a higher income, as various surveys have shown. Moreover, many of them live in areas that are hardly accessible by means of public transport.

With MobileInclusion we investigate the relation of social exclusion and mobility.
We explore two central questions:

„Subway Line 7, Paris“, Thomas Claveirole, Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

How are
the affected persons?

of the affected

  • How do deprived persons perceive social exclusion?
  • Which disadvantage do they experience in their daily routine?
    How do they cope with it?
Photo: „Subway Line 7, Paris“, Thomas Claveirole, Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped
Jacob Bøtter, "Berlin part I - 2008", Flickr, CC-BY 2.0, cropped & colour changed /

Which districts suffer most
from transport disadvantage?

of the urban space

  • How is transport disadvantage distributed among a city?
  • Is transport disadvantage connected to local income or the availability of public transport service?
Photo: Jacob Bøtter, “Berlin part I – 2008”, Flickr, CC-BY 2.0, cropped & colour changed

To answer these questions we interview affected persons in Hamburg and Berlin. In both cities, social exclusion is a rising issue, e.g., by rising rental costs. Furthermore, we conduct geographical analyses to explore the spatial distribution of transport disadvantage.

MobileInclusion shall deliver empirically-grounded results that can support political interventions to tackle the problem of transport disadvantage. The overarching goal is to open and increase opportunities for those who are compromised.

MobileInclusion is a joint research project by the Chair of Integrated Transportation Planning at Berlin University of Technology and the Institute of Transport Planning and Logistics at Hamburg University of Technology. The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

Research plan

Research design
that explores a complex issue

Social Exclusion and Mobility are complex and intertwined issues. To examine them, we've formulated an eight-stage research plan that combines qualitative and quantitative methods.
Research plan