Modelling on the Move Symposium – a write-up

This article describes a symposium hosted by the University of Oxford’s Transport  Studies Unit (TSU) on December 7th 2012. Entitled Modelling on the Move the event kicked-off a new series of seminars sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The aim is to explore how quantitative models can inform a transition to a low-carbon transport system, by “bringing together researchers and practitioners to discuss innovative ways of responding to pressing policy problems in transport”. The premise of the series is the interlinked problems of the obesity crisis, climate change and oil depletion.

My first thought, before the conference had even begun, was respect to the organisers for facing such overriding problems with our transport systems head-on, rather than fiddling around the edges or arguing over academic minutiae. This symposium aimed to tackle the ‘big issues’, against the grain of academia’s tendency to “tell us more and more about less and less” (Gallagher and Appenzeller, 1999).

Convener Rachel Aldred introduced the need for ‘systemic transition’ in the context of climate and energy objectives, obesity and economic crises and the rise of ‘big data’. It was certainly a broad remit. Below I sketch how researchers focussed on one or more of these objectives are harnessing new modelling techniques and collaborating to foresee the transport systems of the future.

Specifically there were talks on:

The slides and audio from these talks have been made available online, and can be accessed from the Modelling on the Move website by clicking on the above talk titles. Or, for a more general summary from one perspective, read on. Continue reading Modelling on the Move Symposium – a write-up

Transport Geography at RGS-IBG 2013: Call for papers

We are preparing for the RGS-IBG annual conference 2013, to be held on August 28th to 30th in London. If you plan to present a paper related to transport geography, please submit abstracts of around 300 words to Kate Pangbourne (k.pangbourne at Sessions are yet to be finalised, but session themes will include:

  • GIS and “big data” approaches to understand personal transport flows
  • Energy and transport
  • Transport Geography in an interconnected world

Watch this space for more details on this abstract call.

Hello and welcome

The Transport Geography Research Group (TGRG) is a small but highly active Research Group. Its major objectives are:

  • to stimulate the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas.
  • to encourage research and publications and to raise awareness of transport geography.

The group’s activities include:

  • convening sessions at the RGS/IBG Annual Conference.
  • the group’s links with the Journal of Transport Geography, which provides a further valuable international outlet for the Group’s research findings.
  • the production of a book series ‘Transport and Mobility’ with Ashgate Publishers ( for more information please contact Professor Richard Knowles
  • the publication of the ‘A New Deal for Transport?’ in the RGS-IBG Book Series.

Committee members:

Chair: Karen Lucas
Secretary: Kate Pangbourne
Treasurer/Deputy Chair: Lisa Davison
Membership secretary: Scott Copsey
Postgraduate representatives: Ian Philips, Joanne Elvy
Website: Robin Lovelace

For more information please contact Kate Pangbourne

Bridging the Gap’ event with Transport Scotland

The Transport Geography Research Group and Transport Scotland held a ‘Bridging the Gap’ event on 6th July at Transport Scotland in Edinburgh. This was timed to coincide with the RGS-IBG annual conference, held in the same city.

The event brought together practitioners, policy makers and academics to share good practice, to identify key policy priorities and to inform future transport geography research.

Workshops involved presentation of international examples of transport geography research under themes identified as important to policy-makers and practitioners. This was followed by wider discussion under each theme, namely

Please click on the theme to view the posters from each session.

Professor Phil Goodwin provided the keynote speech highlighting evidence that we have reached ‘Peak Car’. The slides can be accessed here.

A summary of the event will soon be available to TGRG members.

Bratislava car factory visit

As part of the annual conference of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), held in Slovakia, a guided tour of a Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche car assembly factory took place. We visited the Bratislava plant, one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world. It produces ~400,000 cars per year and has contributed over 3 million wheeled metal boxes to humanity during its 45 years in operation. This post describes the visit, from the perspective of an environmentally minded transport geographer.

If cars would fly… Automated cable car transporting lift, carrying newly manufactured vehicles to and from the testing facility.

Continue reading Bratislava car factory visit

TGRG: the forum for transport geographers worldwide.