Transport and Mobilities is one of five new research groups established by the School of Architecture and Cities in 2021. It builds on the work of the Transport Studies Group, an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching in transport at the University of Westminster since 1971.
The Transport and Mobilities Research Group’s vision is to deliver world class research that contributes to making transport systems and mobilities safe, sustainable, efficient, secure, equitable, accessible to all, and health and wellbeing promoting. Transport and Mobilities embraces this through a program of research across the transport and city domains and covers a diverse range of aspects of transport and mobility, including city mobilities; active travel; freights; infrastructure investment; networks; accessibility and transport equity.
The Transport and Mobilities Research Group works extensively with governments and industry in the UK and all over the world. The principal sponsoring bodies for our research are the European Commission (EC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Science Council (EPSRC), NIHR, Central Government, Transport for London (TfL), other Local Authorities and private organisations.
For more about the Transport and Mobilities Research Group go here.
Since 2016 local authorities in London have pursued a novel policy of closing the streets in front of schools to cars during pick up and drop off times. These ‘School Street’ schemes were initially relatively marginal but since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic have increased dramatically, now covering nearly a third of state-funded primary schools in the city. This seminar reports on the work conducted as part of a doctoral research project at the Active Travel Academy focusing on these schemes.
With the aim of envisaging more sustainable urban development pathways that address current global challenges, a series of projects were funded under the Joint Programming Initiative of the European Commission call on Urban Accessibility and Connectivity (ERA-NET ENUAC, 2021-2024). Within this framework, ACUTE (the Accessibility and Connectivity Knowledge Hub for Urban Transformation in Europe) was launched in 2022 in order to synthesize ENUAC project results. The seminar will introduce the ACUTE knowledge hub and present a series of research findings and innovative solutions on accessibility and connectivity across 15 European projects.
University of Westminster Transport Group is starting a new research project on the topic of 15-minute City. The cornerstone of this ambitious project lies in the 15-minute City mapping activity, which provides an initial overview for the Innovation Portfolio. By employing robust analytical methods, we will gather international experiences, tools, and best practices, paving the way for subsequent phases of the DUT 15-minute City Transition Pathway roadmap.
Consortium: Benjamin Büttner (project coordination), Sebastian Seisenberger, Cecília Silva, João Teixeira, Enrica Papa, Maja Piecyk, Julian Allen
Cargo bikes have been gaining popularity as greener, healthier, and more efficient replacements for delivery vans in cities. A growing body of evidence demonstrates their benefits in reducing delivery times, traffic congestion, carbon emissions, air pollution and injury risk to other road users, compared to motorised vehicles. As this new cargo bike logistics sector rapidly expands and transforms, there is a need for careful consideration of workers’ experiences and overall wellbeing. This research
gives new unique insights on the experiences of cargo bike delivery workers in London and the improvements they would like to see in the sector.
The way in which people choose to travel has changed throughout history and adaptations have taken place in order to provide the most convenient, efficient and cost-effective method(s) of transport possible. This research explores two trends — technological and socio-economic change — by discussing the effects of their application in the renewed drive to promote car clubs in Greater London through the introduction of new technologies and innovative ways in which a car can be used and hired, thus helping to generate new insights for car sharing. A mixed methods approach was used. Our findings show that there is an opportunity to utilise car clubs as a tool for facilitating a step change away.
The new international project led by Enrica Papa and named Knowledge Hub ACUTE (Accessibility and Connectivity knowledge hub for Urban Transformation in Europe) just started. The Knowledge Hub for knowledge transfer on urban accessibility and connectivity will address the challenges of sustainable urban passenger mobility, freight transport and connectivity as an integral and essential part of sustainable urban development. ACUTE will enable cross-project cooperation, extract and consolidate knowledge and initiate efforts to support practitioners.
Associated with the planning model of ‘tactical urbanism’ and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘city street experiments’ or experimental changes in street use, regulation and/or form aimed at exploring aimed at exploring systemic change towards a ‘post-car’ city have become increasingly prominent. In the seminar, members of the EXTRA research project will present research on parklets and school streets in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Redbridge. They will discuss preliminary results on how local people use, perceive and experience street changes.
Enrica Papa, from the Transport and Mobilities Research Group, led the Transport Planning track and presented results of the EXTRA project to the Association of European School of Planning – AESOP Annual Conference in Tartu.
Researchers from UoW Transport Research Group will present their work at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2022, which will take place at Newcastle University from 30 August to 2 September 2022. Ersilia Verlinghieri, Asa Thomas, and Rachel Aldred organised a session titled’Road-reallocations and social infrastructures: Debating the social in car-centric cities’. Emilia Smeds organised a session titled ‘What is the street for? Interrogating ‘ways of seeing’ and the epistemic justice of reconfiguring street space. Papers by Enrica Papa, Emilia Smeds and Asa Thomas will be presented. The Conference regularly attracts over 2,000 geographers from around the world.
Ex-TRA JPI Urban project has been included in a UKRI blog for Earth Day highlighting some of the great research and innovation projects that ESRC funded that are tackling climate change. The blog piece can be found on Medium via Url link below.
Luz Navarro has been awarded a £4,822 grant from the UKRI Participatory Research Fund, via an internal call of the UoW. Expanding on previous participatory research funded by the QHT, the project will explore the experiences of BAME women cycling within different types of urban environments and cycling infrastructures. The project is co-organised with JoyRiders – a BAME women cycling organisation– and will articulate through a series of participatory design-research workshops in four different locations in London. The participatory nature of the research places women as experts of their environments and their own needs and aspirations regarding cycling
Enrica Papa and Emilia Smeds were successful in securing a £4588 grant from the UKRI Participatory Research Fund, via an internal UoW call. This expands the participatory research activities and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion of the EX-TRA project led by Enrica Papa (Experimenting with City Streets to Transform Urban Mobility). Recent parklets and School Streets will be discussed through a community-led approach. It is an interdisciplinary collaboration between transport planning, architect colleagues and social sciences colleagues. Co-I: Ipshita Basu, Maria Kramer
Emilia Smeds was awarded £4990 in seed-funding by the British Academy following the Knowledge Frontiers Symposium on ‘What is a Good City?’. Together with Canadian and UK scholars, Emilia will be leading an interdisciplinary exploration of ‘ways of seeing’ public space with an emphasis on non-expert perspectives. This expands the EX-TRA project’s agenda on street space experimentation, tactical urbanism and social justice. The collaboration will kick off with a panel discussion at the RGS-IBG 2022 conference in Newcastle, September 2022. PI: Emilia Smeds, Co-I: Kevin Manaugh (McGill University), James Connolly (University of British Columbia), Matthew Wargent (Cardiff University)
Congratulations to our Active Travel Academy colleagues who have been awarded a new £70,000 grant by Impact on Urban Health for the project Cargo bike operators: employment practices. The project will use interviews and focus groups with riders and operators to identify ways to maximise health and wellbeing for sector workers whilst supporting upscaling of cargo bikes operators. The study’s outputs will support local and national stakeholders in ensuring that increased cargo bike deliveries in the UK create good, green jobs that provide job security, a living wage and a safe and inclusive environment for workers. The study will involve partners from Sustrans and MP Smarter Travel.
Join us for a celebratory event, marking 50 (+) years of the Transport Studies Group (TSG) at Marylebone, reflecting on teaching and research, past, present and future. The event will comprise two distinct segments, the first being an afternoon session with speakers on past development, and current roles, of teaching and research in the Group, together with contributions from alumni who have attained important positions in the transport sector. This will be followed in the evening by an informal reception for past staff colleagues and alumni.