Communication and its relationship with digital and physical mobility patterns : a review

Peter van der Waerden, Mike Bérénos, Geert Wets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With a new look on the phenomenon of mobility this chapter aims to contribute to the formulation of theories about people, society, and mobility. In this case, as traditionally used, the physical traffic and transportation system is not the starting point. It assumes that not just physical infrastructures and modalities are involved. In order to understand mobility—and that includes also transport of goods—the starting point must be the so-called communicative system. “Man is a communicative being; he is not made to be alone” (Aristoteles, 400 years before Christ). Yes indeed, people need contacts and meetings to communicate with each other. A society without communication is unthinkable. This communication now evokes physical mobility, but also, what we call digital or virtual mobility. You do not have to go on the road or even travel at the desired moment to communicate with each other. The communicative system is therefore the starting point for thinking about transportation and mobility. From this starting point, we provide a conceptual framework for understanding the phenomenon of mobility better. From there, the question arises how to quantify and test hypothesis. Our intention is to trace endogenous relationships—so within the communicative system—between the physical and digital mobility and to find out if there exists an interchange between these two subsystems, in search of planning instruments to diminish the number of undesirable physical mobility. We conducted a small, preliminary and indicative research on this, a first struggling, and highlight a veil on this.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe evolving impacts of ICT on activities and travel behavior
EditorsEran Ben-Elia
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780128162132
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Transport Policy and Planning
ISSN (Print)2543-0009
ISSN (Electronic)2542-9116

Bibliographical note

Part of volume:
The Evolving Impacts of ICT on Activities and Travel Behavior
Edited by Eran Ben-Elia


  • Communication
  • Digital
  • Mobility
  • Patterns
  • Physical


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