“Smart” Tools for Socially Sustainable Transport: A Review of Mobility Apps
Sanchez, Thomas W.
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In the smart city, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are proposed as solutions to urban challenges, including sustainability concerns. While sustainability commonly refers to economic and environmental dimensions, the concept also contains a social component. Our study asked how smartphone applications (apps) address social-sustainability challenges in urban transport, if at all. We focused on transport disadvantages experienced due to low income, physical disability, and language barriers. A review of 60 apps showed that transport apps respond to these equity and inclusion issues in two ways: (a) by employing a universal design in general-use apps, including cost-conscious features, and providing language options; and (b) by specifically developing smartphone apps for persons with disabilities. The article discusses the study by positioning it in the literature of smart cities as well as socially sustainable transport.