News & Events

Cosmopolis lunch seminar with A.Plyushteva (VUB): Night visions: Competing views on the urban night and mobility in night-time public transport initiatives

29 March 2018 , 11.30-13.00h (note earlier starting time!) VUB: Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Building F, Room F 4.66

Many larger European cities provide some form of public transport at night. The arguments for doing so are many, but in recent years have increasingly focused on narratives of growing a night-time economy, or on promoting a particular city image. The debates around night-time public transport services reveal different visions on what the urban night is or should be, and the role of mobility in such visions. In this presentation, I draw on interviews with activists for night-time public transport provision in Brussels and Sofia, with local officials in both cities, and on document analysis. While the issues tackled by Brussels and Sofia activists have much in common, important differences are also identified – thus, the Brussels initiative has had relative success, with night buses running on Fridays and Saturdays since 2007, while in Sofia the campaign, still on-going, is in its third year and continues to face strong opposition. The presentation examines the perspectives which have come to shape the night transport debate, as well as the conspicuous absences in it, and asks what they reveal about the ways in which night-time cities are imagined, planned and contested.

Speaker: Anna Plyushteva, Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Anna is Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral research fellow at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is a transport and urban geographer working on themes related to commuting, transport affordability, and the urban night. Anna holds a PhD in Geography from University College London.