We are looking for a PhD candidate who will critically examine older adults’ perspectives on and experiences with new digital mobility technologies. More specifically: How do older adults experience mobility technology across different transport modes, and what does it mean for their social inclusion and well-being? And, in what ways are mobility technologies adopted, used or non-used amongst older adults, and which processes lead towards adoption or non-adoption? Your job
The project is funded by an Utrecht University Stimulous Grant titled 'Inclusive Mobile Ageing' led by Dr Dea van Lierop
. The PhD will be embedded into the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning and will formally collaborate with The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
Revolutionary technological innovations in mobility, like on-demand services (e.g. ride-sharing and hailing services like Uber and Lyft), micro e-mobility (e.g. shared electric bicycles or scooters), and even automated vehicles, are increasingly seen on city streets worldwide. Additionally, access to traditional transportation modes like public transport, specialised transport and taxi services is also increasingly digitalised, for instance, through digital ticketing and scheduling. These many forms of traditional and new mobility require individuals to interact with transportation modes via digital devices. This excludes people who are less digitally skilled and/or are physically constrained.
Inequalities in mobility and accessibility impact social inclusion, access to opportunities (e.g. healthcare destinations) and overall well-being, which affect how older adults age-in-place. Accordingly, the PhD research aims to critically examine older adults’ perspectives on and experiences with new mobility technologies and how this affects implementation and further development.
This PhD project:
- investigates how older adults experience digital mobility technologies across different transport modes, and what it means for their social inclusion and well-being; and
- assesses in which ways mobility technologies are adopted, used or non-used amongst older adults, and which processes lead towards adoption or non-adoption.
Comparative research will be conducted in Dutch areas with rapidly ageing populations, comparing suburban and rural regions to high-density urban areas. This PhD project uses a mixed-method approach including quantitative spatial mapping analysis with qualitative focus groups, semi-structured interviews with guided photo-voice enabling ethnographic observations about individuals’ daily travel habits, and co-creation workshops. We will investigate studying how values (like inclusiveness, autonomy, agency) of different stakeholders like citizens, policymakers and mobility providers, interact and play a role in mobility. Candidates with an interest in mobility and ageing and a specialisation in any of the mentioned methods are encouraged to apply for this PhD position.
As the PhD candidate, you will systematically document and analyse the mobility habits and norms of older adults. Tasks as part of the PhD will be analysing national transport and population data to understand mobility patterns of older adults as well as for case study selection. In a next stage, the PhD will develop and lead semi-structured interviews with guided photo-voice as well as focus groups. Lastly, stakeholder outreach will be conducted for co-creation workshops. In addition to research (90%), you will also be involved in teaching and educational activities within the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning (10%).