Lost in Transit

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Thinking of Transit Places, the first sites that comes to mind will probably be airports, train stations and motorways. Such places are overall mono-functional with the embedded rationales of people's desires to move (themselves or goods) from one place to another. Often different service functions and commerce are added to such places facilitating the accomplishment of comfortable and easy transit. Apart from those being in transit, people do not visit these places and apart from those working at such transit places, people do not stay for longer periods. Certainly people do not live or spend the whole of their daily lives here. This is on the contrary what many people do in cities and towns - places where people live, work and stay, and that they purposefully visit in their spare times. The article addresses what happens, when an inhabited place obtain the properties normally connected with transit. The article explores a particular place in Denmark that is heavily influenced by transit, namely the town Hirtshals situated in the northern part of Jutland. The purpose is to gain knowledge about how such place and transit mobility influence each other. The article analyzes the case as a critical point of contact (Jensen & Morelli 2011) between four influential layers: History, Flow, Materiality and Meaning. The analysis shows an unbalance between the layers which negatively influence the functionality and experience of the place. Through an empirical and ethnography exploration this paper seeks to expose how a town primarily characterized by ferry transit is being challenged on its capacity to be a 'place' of meaning and social importance to its inhabitants. The paper raises the key question: Can a place become too well connected and this in such a manner that its identity and key character becomes 'lost in transit'?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Nov 2014
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2014
EventNetworked Urban Mobilities: How new technologies change cities, cultures and economies - Aalborg University Campus in Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 5 Nov 20147 Nov 2014
Conference number: 10


ConferenceNetworked Urban Mobilities
Location Aalborg University Campus in Copenhagen
Internet address

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