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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.136
Hitchhiking in the city: infrastructure, space and imaginary
Hitchhiking is generally associated to long journeys crossing countries and continents. Therefore, its occurrence in the urban context of Florianópolis has some particularities in the way one thumbs a ride. Being an exception among most studied hitchhike cases, this urban context frames the hitchhike practice in the rhythms of the daily routine, in a city with five hundred thousands inhabitants, known by the wonderful nature and the high quality of life. Historically, hitchhiking in Florianopolis dates back to the 70s and 80s, when no public transportation circulated in some neighbourhoods, and to get a ride was the only option. The development of the streets infrastructure left a “fishbone” form (Reis, 2012). Neighbourhoods are interconnected by one or two main roads, which generate a confluence of flux that makes it favourable. While establishing their skeleton, the city and its hitchhikers move with time: the infrastructure grew and changed, on one hand, and, on the other, new residents and tourists have joined and reshaped how this means of displacement happens there. Starting from personal experiences lived in my fieldwork, and historical data, I analyse the continuity of this practice through time, and how the transformations in the infrastructure, in the population and in the imaginary about life in a city affect and allow hitchhiking. I propose to discuss what it means to move around in such a stochastic way (Laviolette, 2014) inside a large city.