MOBILE PHONES, MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Two panel sessions exploring the growing linkages between travel/transport organisation and mobile phones in Africa were held at the African Studies Association biennial conference at Sussex University in September 2014, organised and chaired by Gina Porter from Durham University and sponsored by the DFID-funded Africa Community Access Programme.

The remarkable expansion of mobile phone networks in Africa is bringing a tangible new dimension of connectivity into transport and access equations on the ground: now-feasible interactions between virtual and physical mobility are helping to reshape access potential, even in many hitherto remote areas (especially where linked to the rapid uptake of transportation modes such as the motorcycle-taxi). Phones can cut travel costs and time, reducing the number of long, potentially hazardous road journeys on poor roads in badly maintained vehicles, in regions with among the world’s highest accident rates and where highway robbery and other types of harassment associated with travel may be widespread. Better distance management through phone use may be particularly closely associated with populations with very low disposable incomes, and/or whose physical mobility is limited, for instance by disability, infirmity, age or gender. A write-up of these sessions, by Gina, who will give the keynote Hoyle Lecture speech at next year’s RGS-IBG conference, follow.

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Conceptualising low carbon mobility

This is a write-up of the RGS-IBG 2014 Session:
Transport and Energy (2):
Conceptualising low carbon mobility,
Sponsored by the Transport Geography Research Group and the
Energy Geography Working Group on Thursday 28th August 2014, by Neol Cass.

Session organisers: Dr Noel Cass and Professor James Faulconbridge,
 Lancaster University

The session was organised in conjunction with Robin Lovelace of
 Leeds University and TGRG, and Stuart Barr of Exeter and EGWG,
 whose session on ‘Transport and Energy: evidence base for post-carbon futures’ 
preceded it. There were 5 papers presented in each session and
the audience numbers were consistently high. The first session
focussed more on empirical and quantitative research
(with the exception of Antonio Ferreira’s discourse analysis).
Papers in the second session were more focused on social science approaches.

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Book Review: Sustainable Transport Studies in Asia. Akimasa Fujiwara, Jungyi Zhang (Eds.),

Naznin Afrose Huq‘s review of Sustainable Transport Studies in Asia, edited by Akimasa Fujiwara and Jungyi Zhang offers an insightful overview of the themes considered in the book, emphasising the application of a range of models designed to understand the development of sustainable urban transport systems.

Sustainable Transport Studies in Asia
A short summary including a link to a copy of the review follows.

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Irish Transport Research Network Cycling Workshop, Limerick

The Irish Transport Research Network preceded their 2014 annual conference, at the University of Limerick, with a cycling-focused workshop celebrating Limerick’s position as a demonstration city for smarter travel.

The workshop took place on the 3rd September and effectively brought together practitioners, policy makers and researchers from across Ireland for both the workshop and the conference.

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Transport and energy: evidence base for post-carbon futures

The TGRG and Energy Geographies Working Group joined forces for the second year running at the RGS-IBG annual conference, to host another session on Energy and Transport. This is a growing area of academic study, as illustrated by the increased number of presentations (10 this year compared with 6 the previous year) and attendees who packed the room.

This post provides a very brief overview of each presentation and, where possible, links to slides from the presenters.

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