Transit Life: How commuting is transforming our cities


Yasuko Hiroaka Myer Room Sidney Myer Asia Centre 761 Swanston St University of Melbourne, VIC


As Victoria heads towards a state election, questions about how our everyday journeys through the city are impacting on our lives have, once again, become centre stage. We spend so much of our lives in transit to and from work. In cities across the world, the daily commute has become a wearying slog for many.

Understandably, much academic and policy attention has focussed on how large infrastructure projects and new transport technologies might transform the way that we move about cities, alleviating some of the problems that we experience. However, to only focus on future developments potentially overlooks the myriad subtle but powerful transformations that are taking place here and now in cities.

Through in-depth fieldwork with commuters, journalists, transit advocates, policymakers, and others, geographer David Bissell has been researching how commuting subtly transforms us and how we transform the places through which we pass. In this public event, David will be in conversation with a panel of experts from the fields of transportation, cities and everyday life to explore and develop ideas that are raised in his new book Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities (MIT Press, 2018).


Associate Professor David Bissell, School of Geography, University of Melbourne

Professor Kim Dovey, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Tim Edensor, School of Geography, University of Melbourne

Dr Crystal Legacy, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne

Professor Alison Young, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Introduction by Professor Brendan Gleeson, Director, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne

Chair: Dr Sangeetha Chandrashekeran, School of Geography and Deputy Director of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne

Light refreshments will be provided. Copies of Transit Life will be available to purchase.

About the author

David Bissell is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. He combines qualitative research on embodied practices with social theory to explore the social, political and ethical consequences of our increasingly mobile lives. His current Australian Research Council funded projects are exploring how mobile working practices are reshaping the home; how new forms of workplace artificial intelligence are impacting on employment futures; and how the gig economy is transforming Australian cities.

This event is co-sponsored by the School of Geography, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the Urban Environments Research Network, and the Australian Mobilities Research Network.