Category Archives: Events

GIS for Transport Applications Workshop 2017

Back in 2015 the TGRG supported the first GIS for Transport Applications (GIS4TA) workshop in Leeds.

Fast forward two years and we’re happy to announce the second GIS4TA event, following the success of the first one, and support from the RGS.

The course will be an action-packed 2 day event taking place on the 16th and 17th November at the University of Leeds. The emphasis will be on practical workshops rather than presentations. And you’re expected to bring maps! Like the one below…


For more information and to apply, see here:


RGS-IBG Annual Conference: TGRG Sponsored Sessions and Early Booking Deadline

Dear all,

We are pleased to announce that we have a full programme of TGRG-sponsored sessions at this year’s RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, covering a very wide range of topics.

The conference will take place in London from 29 August to 1 September. Make sure you register by Friday 9 June to take advantage of the ‘early-bird’ reduced rate.

A full provisional programme can be found here. Titles of TGRG sessions are as follows:

Can Smart Mobility be Inclusive Mobility (2 sessions)
Current and Emerging Research in Transport: Understanding Mobility and its Implications
Current and Emerging Research in Transport: Travel Behaviour, Accessibility, Equity and Planning
Decolonising Urban Transport Studies (2 sessions)
Exploring the Socio-Spatialities of Urban Goods Mobility (2 sessions)
Everyday Mobilities and Climatic Events
Mobile Lives in the Digital Age: Implications, Challenges and Opportunities
Putting Transport on the Map: Advancements in Mapping and Visualising Sustainable Transport Systems (2 sessions plus practical workshop)
Transport, Sustainable Cities and Transit Oriented Development (3 sessions)

The Brian Hoyle Annual Lecture in Transport Geography will be given by Mei-Po Kwan, with the title ‘Geography: Human Mobility, Individual Context, and Environmental Exposure: A Spatiotemporal Perspective’.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Best wishes,


RailLinks, Brazil – Researcher Links Workshop July 2017

brasao_defaultIt is our pleasure to invite you to apply to attend a rail-orientated workshop in Brazil, which will be funded by the British Council, Newton Fund programme. The workshop will take place in Joinville, Brazil (31 July, 2017 – 4 August, 2017). For the successful candidates, travel costs and hotel will be covered by the project.  We aim to recruit 14 UK early career researchers interested in rail transport and traffic management to attend the workshop and represent their institutions. The application form can be found here:

Deadline for applications: 10 May, 2017

Further information about the workshop can be found on our webpage:

Contact Dr. Marin Marinov, for more details: Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3976

University of Oxford Transport Studies Unit Hilary Term Seminar Series 2017: ‘Transport & Mobilities across the life course’

The TSU Hilary Term Seminar Series 2017, entitled ‘Transport & Mobilities Across the Life Course’, will be held from January to March at the School of Geography and the Environment as follows:  ALL SEMINARS:   4 – 6 pm |  Alternate Tuesdays from 24th January  | Hilary Term 2017  | School of Geography & the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY  |  ALL WELCOME!


24 January 2017 (Week 2) Beckit Room, SoGE

A life course perspective: new mobilities and demography

  • Prof Dr Joachim Scheiner, Technische Universitat, Dortmund
  • Clare Sheffield, Transport for London

Chair: Dr Tim Schwanen, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


7 February 2017 (Week 4) Beckit Room, SoGE

The mobilities of young adults in the 21st Century

  • Prof Ann Berrington, University of Southampton
  • Jean Taylor, Lambeth Council

Chair: Dr Debbie Hopkins, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


21 February 2017 (Week 6) Gottman Room, SoGE

Mobilities of an ageing population

  • Associate Prof Charles Musselwhite, Swansea University
  • Jane Vass OBE, AGE UK

Chair: Prof David Banister, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


7 March 2017 (Week 8) Beckit Room, SoGE

Life events and mobilities across the life course

  • Dr Sara Tilley, University of Edinburgh
  • Emma Aldrich, Marie Stopes International

Chair: Dr Tim Schwanen, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford




‘On demand: Cultural economies of access and ownership’ (RGS-IBG Session write up)

This write up by Brendan Doody (University of Cambridge) and Lizzie Richardson (Durham University) is about the TGRG sponsored session ‘On demand: Cultural economies of access and ownership’ which took place at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2016.

The session ‘On demand: Cultural economies of access and ownership’ was organised by Brendan Doody (University of Cambridge) and Lizzie Richardson (Durham University). This theoretically and empirically diverse session was well attended and attracted an equally varied audience which included social, cultural, environmental, economic and transport geographers. This diversity is reflective of the way in which the ‘sharing’, ‘collaborative’, ‘gig’ or ‘access’ economy is challenging, renegotiating and reworking the ways in which resources are consumed and used across various sectors. In this ‘post-ownership’ story, citizen-consumers are increasingly paying to access goods and services ‘on-demand’, which may be ‘shared’ with other users.

The original call for papers encouraged participants to question and complicate the narrative of ‘post-ownership’ to describe trends associated with the sharing economy. More specifically, it encouraged participants to reflect on three related concerns:

  1. To what extent does access query normative understandings of, and practices associated with, ownership?
  2. What are the implications for access for the qualities and/or quantities of resource usage?
  3. How are emotional and ethical attachments realised through everyday negotiations of access and flexibilities of demand?

Each of the five speakers explored one or more of these concerns drawing on different empirical and conceptual resources.

Brendan Doody and Lizzie Richardson’s paper ‘The urban life of demand’ employed the notion of demand as a way of thinking about the changing nature and intensities of life in the city. Drawing on a range of examples they examined four aspects of experience associated with the city ‘on-demand’: 1) circulation; 2) logistics; 3) authenticity; and 4) familiarity. In the case of familiarity, they noted how as many of these platforms become part of the mundane urban landscape they are creating both senses of connection and disconnection in the city. For example, the growth of and universality of platforms such as Uber provide users with familiar senses and experiences of movement even in cities they have only just arrived in. Meanwhile platforms such as Airbnb and Vrumi where individuals hire rooms or people’s houses either for accommodation or workspaces are rendering once private havens somewhat unfamiliar as users co-occupy these spaces. Overall, the aim of the paper was to provide a preliminary sketch of the city ‘on-demand’ as a way of opening up more debate and discussion.

Robyn Dowling (University of Sydney) and Jennifer Kent’s (University of Sydney) paper explored ‘What does it mean to share a car?’ Drawing on interviews conducted in Sydney, Australia and their earlier work they used a social practice lens to examine meanings, materialities and skills involved in private car-sharing. Interestingly, they noted that a significant attraction of these services for some participants is that a number of parking spaces in central Sydney have been allocated exclusively for these vehicles. Thus using these schemes reflects an unwillingness to share public parking infrastructure. Moreover, these shared vehicles become users own personal spaces and reflecting this people do not want to know who has been in the car before them. Previous users often leave, however, various material traces (i.e., radio station, seat position, rubbish) and thus Dowling and Kent stressed the skills or ‘work’ involved in dealing with these issues. Their paper in this way questioned whether private car-sharing enterprises should be understood simply as forms of collaborative consumption as they also entail varying degrees of exclusivity.

Benedikt Schmid’s (University of Luxembourg) paper ‘Diverse economic organizations: Logics, access and ownership’ drew on ethnographic fieldwork conducted at Hobbyhimmel, an open workshop based in Stuttgart, Germany. For a small fee this non-profit organisation offers participants interested in crafts, art, repair, recycling and upcycling the opportunity to access different work spaces which are set-up with a range of equipment, appliance and tools and other forms of support (e.g., instructions, courses and encouragement). Drawing on theories of practice and institutional logics, Schmid explored the diverse materials, meanings, skills and logics underpinning these alternative economic practices highlighting the ways in which they both challenge and reproduce more traditional economic practices.

Gareth Powells  (Newcastle University) paper interrogated: ‘The shared grid: Materially connected demands and the new deals for energy’. He drew particular attention to the challenge that managing the late afternoon/evening peak (1600-2000) in electricity use presents for energy suppliers in the UK. In the past this peak has been managed on the supply side by reinforcing electricity network. More recently there has been growing political and commercial interest in managing demand as the increased range and diversity of sources of electricity generation will make it less predictable and controllable. Drawing on preliminary research in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, Powells explored customers’ views on shifting from unit to service-based agreements with their energy company. Under this model, customers would potentially pay for services such as comfort (i.e., a home heated to 18-22 degrees) rather than the amount of energy they use and could be rewarded for flexibility when there is load limited supply. The paper is illustrative accordingly of how the UK energy sector is gradually moving away from its traditional logic of efficiency to one of sufficiency.

Lizzie Richardson’s (Durham University) paper ‘Consuming the workplace: Demand and work representation’ considered some of the connections between demand and work that are opened up by practices of ‘mobile working’ afforded by digital technologies. Drawing on ongoing research funded by the RGS-IBG and now the Leverhulme Trust, the paper outlined the apparently contradictory trend in which the form of work – its organisational structure- tends towards increased labour market flexibility/insecurity (e.g., ‘gig economy’ jobs), whilst the substance of work – individual working activity – can tend towards a greater depth and breadth of skills (e.g., the individual flexibility seen in co-working offices).

The session as a whole demonstrated the ways in which geographers can help to question and interrogate extent to which access-based models help to challenge normative understandings of, and practices associated with, ownership, the qualities and/or quantities of resource usage and the emotional and ethical attachments realised through everyday negotiations of access and flexibilities of demand.

TGRG AGM – Committee positions available

You are invited and encouraged to attend the AGM of the Transport Geography Research Group to be held on Friday 2nd September 13:10-14:25 during the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in Royal School of Mines, Room G.06.

If you are not attending the conference but would like to attend the AGM please let me know and we can arrange a pass for the AGM.

The TGRG will be looking to fill a number of positions at the AGM this year and it would be great to have more involvement from our members so please come to the AGM and get involved. If you have any questions about any of the roles please feel free to contact me or the existing position holder as shown below.

Nominations for Committee membership will be accepted up to the beginning of the AGM.  Nominations must be in writing and include the names of the proposer and seconder.

Please send nominations in advance to or in writing at the conference to one of the existing committee members (Graham Parkhurst or Simon Blainey will be in attendance).

Elections for the TGRG executive committee.

  • Chair
  • Secretary
  • Post-graduate rep

Elections to the TGRG ordinary committee

  • Transport Geography education: to coordinate TGRG responses to learning and teaching consultations (currently unfilled)
  • Website
  • Communications support (social media)
  • Prizes and awards co-ordinator (currently unfilled)