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Impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods, mobility, and accessibility of marginalised groups (ICOLMA)

Grant number: 21/07554-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2022 - January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Urban and Regional Planning
Cooperation agreement: Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities
Principal researcher:Sandra Irene Momm Schult
Grantee:Sandra Irene Momm Schult
Principal researcher abroad: Mark Zuidgeest
Institution abroad: University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
Principal researcher abroad: Sophie Schramm
Institution abroad: Technische Universität Dortmund (TU Dortmund), Germany
Principal researcher abroad: Stefan Greiving
Institution abroad: Technische Universität Dortmund (TU Dortmund), Germany
Home Institution: Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas (CECS). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Luciana Rodrigues Fagnoni Costa Travassos ; Silvana Maria Zioni

Abstract

Mobility is more than movement. It determines the livelihood of individuals in cities - how they get access to various necessary social and economic services and opportunities. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown our major dependency on mobility as a means of access to places of livelihood, yet the pandemic also showed options for a higher resilience in the form of virtual access. While accessibility is traditionally understood as consisting of four interrelated components linked to individual characteristics, spatial characteristics, transport mode characteristics as well as temporal characteristics of mode and activity availability, during the pandemic and beyond, a fifth component of virtual access is gaining ground. Arguably it is in the interplay and in the complementarity of these five dimensions where resilience lies, but for whom? First insights suggest that marginalised groups have suffered most from the pandemic and related lock-down rules. However, knowledge on the complex ways in which the pandemic and lock-down rules have actually affected their livelihoods through both direct mobility restrictions and indirect effects of reduced mobility on the functioning of other infrastructures and services as well as access to income generating activities, is largely lacking. The same applies to the specific ways marginalised groups have been able to cope with these effects, e.g. through virtual technologies. Therefore, this interdisciplinary project will explore and compare the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mobility, accessibility and livelihoods of marginalised groups in Cape Town (South Africa), Ruhr Area (Germany) and São Paulo (Brazil) through a mixed methods approach. The aim is to understand the changing roles of physical access for urban marginalised groups in pandemic times on their livelihood and the role of virtual access therein. Based on these analyses, we will recommend measures toward equitable accessibility that support and improve the resilience of marginalised groups across the globe. These measures will be discussed with and be disseminated to a broader public audience. (AU)

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