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Learning through Policy Tourism: Circulating Bus Rapid Transit from South America to South Africa

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Astrid Wood


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Study tours, a form of ‘policy tourism’ in which local actors travel elsewhere to see best practice and meet with those in the exporting locality who implemented it, have become a basic tenet for policy exchange. In the pursuit of these lessons, hundreds of South African public transport enthusiasts visited South America, particularly Bogota, to learn of its thriving bus rapid transit (BRT) network. This paper evaluates the influence of these exchanges on BRT circulation and adoption—what takes place while delegates are overseas and how do these learning experiences influence the adoption and implementation of circulated forms of best practice? This paper reconnoiters these ‘mobility events’ and their outcomes to demonstrate theoretically that they are a necessary informal infrastructure through which best practice circulates: in particular, as a method for developing and strengthening social bonds between delegates and with hosts—relationships integral to policy adoption.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wood A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 2014

Volume: 46

Issue: 11

Pages: 2654-2669

Print publication date: 01/11/2014

Acceptance date: 29/04/2014

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/a140016p


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