RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

London, Tuesday 29 August – Friday 1st September 2017

Call for papers


Convenors: Debbie Hopkins and Tim Schwanen (TSU, University of Oxford)

Sponsors: Transport Geography Research Group (confirmed), Urban Geography Research Group (under consideration), Economic Geography Research Group (under consideration).

As centres of production and consumption, cities rely heavily on the mobility of freight for the provision of goods and services to residents, visitors, firms and organisations. Volumes of freight mobility are increasing and courier, express and parcel (CEP) services are growing rapidly with ongoing urbanisation and changes in consumption and shopping habits and delivery structures. Further change can be expected in light of the ongoing restructuring of logistics and supply chains and the rise of the smart city and vehicle automation. Yet the parcels, distribution centres, vehicles and pipelines that make up the systems of freight delivery often remain invisible in geographical studies of transport and mobilities. Similarly, policies to reduce the negative impacts of road freight transport are seldom focused at the city scale, and urban mobility is rarely prioritised in urban planning. In this session, we seek to address these gaps, through in-depth explorations of the social-spatialities of urban goods mobility. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovations in urban freight and logistics — e.g., urban consolidation centres, drone delivery, electric and autonomous vehicles, cargo-bikes;
  • Freight and logistics in the ‘smart city’;
  • The political economy of urban goods mobility;
  • Geographies of new business models for CEP services in cities; and
  • The lived experience of freight mobilities.

We are seeking abstracts (c.250 words) for oral presentations to explore the socio-spatialities of urban goods mobility from wide-ranging perspectives.  Abstracts should include a title, and the names, affiliations and email addresses of all authors.


  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday 6th February 2017
  • Responses from session convenors by: Friday 10th February 2017
  • The session convenors will communicate the RGS response as soon as informed by the organisers after the 17th February session proposal deadline
  • Deadline for reduced rate (‘early-bird’) registrations: Friday 8th June 2017
  • RGS-IBG International conference: Wednesday 30 August to Friday 1 September 2017

Abstracts should be submitted to Debbie.hopkins@ouce.ox.ac.uk by Monday 6th February 2017.

Call for Papers: Advancements in Mapping and Visualising Sustainable Transport Systems

This is a call for abstracts to be presented at the RGS-IBG Annual conference, 29th August to 1st September 2017.

To apply:

Send an abstract of up to 300 words to Craig Morton and Robin Lovelace.

You can find out more about this Call for Papers in this form – you can also apply by adding your abstract and details to this Word document (this is encouraged!):


Deadline: 5th February 2017

Any questions? Please email r. lovelace at leeds. ac .uk or in a comment below if so.  The abstract is copied below.

Continue reading Call for Papers: Advancements in Mapping and Visualising Sustainable Transport Systems

Congratulations to David Smith, the 2016 TGRG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Winner.

We would like to congratulate David Smith for his achievement in winning the TGRGs best undergraduate dissertation prize.  David recently earned his BA in Geography at the University of Oxford.  For the prize, David will receive books to the value of £150 from Edward Elgar.  His dissertation abstract can be found below.  Comments from the judges include: “This ethnographic study of a Welsh heritage railway is detailed and conceptually ambitious. David demonstrates familiarity with concepts in economic and cultural geography, and blends that with mobilities concepts to develop his concept of ‘working mobilities’ in the context of heritage transport. His thesis is also beautifully written, which helped David’s work to stand out above the other ten candidates, all of whom had undertaken interesting and varied work, demonstrating the breadth of interesting topics and approaches that can be used in modern transport geography.”

“Working Mobilities”: Labours, Movements and Moorings at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways

This dissertation attends to the different kinds of work that enable mobility to take place. Drawing together ideas from both economic and cultural geography as well as mobilities scholarship, the term ‘working mobilities’ is coined and developed to refer to the labours, practices, performances and personal implications of transport work. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken over nine weeks at a heritage railway in Snowdonia during the summer of 2015, the analysis is arranged around three main themes: working, moving and mooring, in order to expand on this hitherto overlooked facet of mobilities.

The first, ‘working’, applies Linda McDowell’s scholarship on ‘body work’ into a heritage railway setting, finding it to be a combination of both old and new forms of labour. Physical work is involved in facilitating mobilities on a literal level – shovelling coal and cleaning floors, for instance. Meanwhile, ‘new’ forms of labour are present too – the body itself becomes a performance through helping to produce particular atmospheres. But skills and knowledges are important too – places are comprehended multi-sensually through combinations of official and tacit knowledges, whilst specific skills are learnt, again directly enabling the smooth operation of mass mobility.

Next, ‘moving’ explores the relationship between those working mobilities and the equipment they use. A series of micro-movements by human subjects combine to form significant, meaningful movements on much larger scales, such as those gestures which signal that all is ready for a train to proceed. Meanwhile, the vehicles of mobility themselves hold complex, multi-scalar subjective meanings to those who work mobilities, and even when apparently insignificant, retain the capacity to move us emotionally. One particular example is examined in detail.

Finally, ‘moorings’ examines the importance of the relationships of fixity and movement which exist for railway workers, through three registers; spatially, socially, and temporally. Each of these can only be considered relationally, but each is important in providing structure and meaning to the people who work mobilities, and thus enabling them to carry out their duties. Examples include the importance of stationary, as opposed to mobile staff – for instance signallers – and the depth of attachment that comes about through long-lived connections to forms of mobilities – continuities through the life course.


For more information regarding the undergraduate prize please contact the TGRG secretary, Simon Blainey.

Book Review Essay: Emerging Trends and Challenges of Transportation and Logistics in Asia and the Pacific

Ben Derudder and Wei Shen co-review  the following books focused on the geographic region of Asia and the Pacific.


Read the full review here to find out about the ‘strengths and blind spots’ of each of the books followed by a discussion of ‘overarching issues and themes’, including a caveat on comparing and contrasting books written for different audiences and the fuzzy boundaries of the the region.

This review is published with the kind permission of Elsevier. It is  also available via Science Direct, published in The Journal of Transport Geography, Vol 56, Ben Derudder and Wei Shen, Emerging Trends and Challenges of Transportation and Logistics in Asia and the Pacific Asian-Pacific Rim Logistics: Global Context and Local Policies, by Peter J. Rimmer. 2014. Cheltenham/Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar. £110 (Hardback) ISBN: 9781847206282 Air Transport in the Asia Pacific, edited by David Timothy Duval. 2014. Farnham/Burlington (VT): Ashgate. £70 (Hardback) ISBN: 9781409454069 Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific, by ESCAP (Economic and Social Communication for Asia and the Pacific/the United Nations). 2013. Bangkok: United Nations Publication. E-ISBN: 9789210542067


Call for TGRG session proposals: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

Dear TGRG members,

The call for sessions and papers for the 2017 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference is now open and we would like to invite TGRG members to submit session proposals for next year’s conference.

The conference will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 29th August- 1st September and will be chaired by Professor Sarah Radcliffe (University of Cambridge). The conference theme is ‘Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world’.  We would particularly encourage sessions around this theme, but sessions relating to any aspect of transport geography will be considered.

If you would like to have your session sponsored by TGRG, please submit your session proposal to S.P.Blainey@soton.ac.uk AND K.J.Pangbourne@leeds.ac.uk by Friday 16th December. We will confirm session sponsorship as soon as possible and you will then have until Friday 17th February to send out your Call for Papers, choose your presenters and submit your full session proposal to RGS.

Please include the following in your session proposal (you do not have to use the AC2016 session proposal form at this stage):

  • A title
  • Names, affiliations and email addresses of the session convenors (we advise TWO)
  • A session abstract (about 200-300 words), and up to five keywords.

Guidance – sessions are scheduled into timeslots of 1 hour 40 minutes long. A session may not normally occupy more than two of these timeslots in the conference programme. TGRG has a ‘ration’ of timeslots, which we will bear in mind when selecting which proposals to sponsor. Please indicate how many high quality papers you think you will attract – four or five (max) ‘traditional’ papers will fit into a timeslot, or you can consider holding a debate, or a workshop, or adopt a different format such as a pecha kucha.

We welcome joint proposals with other groups (who may have a different timeline – please state what that is). For session proposals which attract many high quality submissions, we will consider allowing two timeslots – there are usually 2 or 3 sessions which have two timeslots each.

In addition to promotion of sessions and support in submitting session proposals, one of the benefits of a TGRG sponsored session is that we are given an allocation of guest passes for non-geographers and/or non UK conference participants. Session organisers may suggest names of established speakers for whom the TGRG can potentially offer a free conference pass, assuming the criteria for guest passes are met and subject to our allocation of guest passes. We also have a prize for the best paper by a postgraduate researcher presented in any TGRG sponsored session.

The following link may be useful in proposing your session:


Best wishes,

Simon Blainey (TGRG Secretary)

Book Review: Handbook on Transport and Development edited by, R Hickman, M Givoni, D Bonilla and D Banister.

Richard Knowles‘ review of Handbook on Transport and Development, edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister is thorough and recognises the important contributions this book makes to the discipline.  His concluding paragraph states: ‘This handbook draws together deep insights into the multi faceted relationships between urban development and transport. It should be essential reading for anyone researching or teaching transport and development relationships’.  The complete review is available here.


This review is published with the kind permission of Elsevier. It is  also available via Science Direct, published in The Journal of Transport Geography, Vol 56, Richard Knowles, Handbook on Transport and Development. Hickman R., Givoni M., Bonilla D., Banister D. (Eds), 2015. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK & Northampton MA, USA. ISBN 978 0 85793 724 5 hardback; xxv & pp. 698. £205. Elgaronline ISBN 978 0 85793 726 1

TGRG: the forum for transport geographers worldwide.