Governmental Capacity and the Smart Mobility Transition


Diane E. Davis. 2018. “Governmental Capacity and the Smart Mobility Transition.” In Governance of the Smart Mobility Transition, edited by Greg Marsden and Louise Reardon, Pp. 105-122. Bingley: Emerald. Publisher's Version
Governmental Capacity and the Smart Mobility Transition


Using materials drawn from San Francisco and Stockholm, this chapter assesses the extent to which recent efforts to upgrade transport services through smart mobility technologies have advanced short- or long-term urban policy aims in the arena of transport governance for sustainability. We argue that positive governance impacts depend largely on degrees of coordination and oversight. Our findings suggest that these aims are not going to be easily met by a network of competing private firms or individuals using smart technology to achieve their own singular trip priorities. Stated in the lingo of social science, the smart mobility transition will produce a ‘collective action problem’ if it remains in the hands of individual firms without some larger territorial and service coordination by governing authorities. To counter this possibility, we argue that transparent implementation processes involving multiple stakeholders will offer the best opportunity for ensuring that smart technology innovations will become a means for expanding governance capacity.
Last updated on 04/10/2019