RGS-IBG CfP: Urban Transport Visions and Pathways

Urban Transport Visions and Pathways

Session Convenors

Miles Tight, School of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham (m.r.tight@bham.ac.uk<mailto:m.r.tight@bham.ac.uk>)

Paul Timms, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (p.m.timms@its.leeds.ac.uk<mailto:p.m.timms@its.leeds.ac.uk>)

Abstract: Transport is facing major issues relating to future sustainability (understood as involving both environmental and social dimensions) which are only likely to be successfully resolved by long term large scale change in the transport system. However, given the complexity of the transport system and the inevitable fundamental differences to the current status quo and trends, it can be difficult to conceptualise just what is meant by such large scale change. One way of helping with such conceptualisation is to construct ‘visions’ which involve fully-rounded descriptions of desirable futures, i.e. containing more information than a set of goals or targets concerned with particular aspects of the transport system. Such visions are sometimes accompanied by ‘pathways’, involving narratives describing how such visions might be achieved. In the transport literature there appears to be growing interest in the role of future visioning techniques, as an alternative to more traditional forecasting approaches (which mainly emphasise current trends), and their application in planning.

This session has a specific focus upon urban transport. It aims to draw together: (1) researchers who are already thinking about long term (20 years or more) visions and pathways for the transport sector in urban areas; and (2) those with experience of visioning and utopian thinking in other geographic sectors who are interested in applying their approaches in an urban transport context.

Proposals for papers are especially welcome (but not limited) on the following topics:

–          Current visions of urban transport futures

–          Past visions of urban transport futures

–          Methods for thinking about future major changes in urban transport

–          The role of futures thinking as a tool for participative planning for long term urban transport futures

–          Participatory visioning

–          Critiques of visioning

–          Applications of methods in different kinds of urban environment

–          The philosophical basis underpinning visioning and pathway construction

–          Use of visual art to portray visions

–          Use of narrative approaches in constructing pathways

–          Narratological theory in the analysis of pathways

The session will consist of 5 or 6 presentations and last for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Please send a paper title and abstract (up to 500 words) to both organisers. We aim to explore interest in a journal special issue following on from this session and hope to use this session to develop ongoing dialogue between contributors.

Timeline: Deadline for submission of abstracts: Wednesday 4th February 2015, responses by: Monday 9th February.

Keywords: Transport futures, visioning, urban, long term, change


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