The Shaping of Urban Public Transport

Two Cases of Alternative Leading Objects


  • Lina Ingeborgrud Norwegian University of Science and Technology


This paper investigates the shaping of urban public transport by comparing ‘alternative leading objects’ to the car in the Norwegian cities Trondheim and Bergen. These have chosen different transport technologies, bus and light rail respectively. I draw on the concept of technological frames and illustrate how interpretations and expectations of sustainable urban mobility guide transport planning. The paper contributes to discussions in STS by exploring technological frames as ongoing practices instead of as outcomes, and as performed by what I identify as two framing coalitions. Both coalitions emphasised that Trondheim and Bergen represented different city identities and topographies. The paper demonstrates the importance of making such identities and representations of public transport systems in particular urban contexts in order to replace a car-dominated transport system. The paper draws on an observational study in two transport offices, interviews with transport planners and politicians and document studies.


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How to Cite

Ingeborgrud, L. (2020) “The Shaping of Urban Public Transport: Two Cases of Alternative Leading Objects”, Science & Technology Studies, 33(1), pp. 22–35. doi: 10.23987/sts.69949.