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, some of them live in areas that are hardly accessible by means of public transport.

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

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

How are
the affected people?

of the affected

  • How do deprived persons perceive social exclusion?
  • Which kind of 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 are particularly affected
by 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 interviewed 40 low-income residents of Hamburg and Berlin. In both cities, social exclusion is a rising issue, e.g., by rising rental costs. Furthermore, we conducted geographical analyses to explore the spatial distribution of transport disadvantage.

The MobileInclusion project has ended. Through this project, we helped describing urban transport disadvantage and derived strategy paths to alleviate it.

Want to get an overview? Read our conclusion in the blog (in German).
Want to know more in detail? Check out the download section for selected material that goes into more depth (mostly in German as well).

MobileInclusion was a joint project of the Chair of Integrated Transport Planning at TU Berlin and the Institute of Transport Planning and Logistics at TU Hamburg. It was funded by the 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