Category Archives: Transport geography

Quote of the day: Development = not needing a car

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.”

Spotted at TEDxYouth@Seattle’s FB site.


Social, health (and environmental) impacts of transportation

The EU likes to focus on CO2 emissions (only), but it is time to consider the social impacts of transportation as well. Jones and Lucas (2012) summarise it rather well, outlining the social impact to consist of accessibility (vs. severance), health- and finance-related outcomes and community-related impacts. Some highlights are the discussion of
- coercive walking, when you don’t really have a choice and walking actually causes stress,
- the intrinsic value and enjoyment of travel,
- the role of social networks in activity-travel planning (vs. social exclusion), and issues of the
- fear of crime.

Interesting from a geography angle is the trifold discussion of distribution effects across space, time, but also across socio-demographic patterns. More on the equity and public health aspects are to be found in the entire special issue of the Journal of Transport Geography – definitely worth a read.


Just finished: NOFOMA 2012

NOFOMA 2012 went out with a bang. Suitably, the Nordic logistics conference was held on a vessel (part of the hotel was a cruise ship). The conference itself was quite a journey in time, it took us back to history – great playing cards and medieval banquet – as well as came back to the future, to trade and transport development to future Nokia phones.

And it was quite a package: “die hard” doctoral students followed a course before and another after the conference. But it was worth it :-) Check out the pics on the NOFOMA webpage!


“Women use cars for time management”

… would probably sum up this article (Jain et al., in press). Here’s the twist: The caring aspect of women may lead to the choice of other transportation modes (notably more sustainable ones) otherwise but is outweighed by the question of time management related to the schooling of dependent children. In other words, if you run back and forth to school and the hobbies of your kids (who doesn’t cry out loud at people calling that “logistics”?), you stop caring about the environment. Quite an issue to take into account from a sustainable behaviour perspective. I wonder how personal carbon emission budgets would affect this though.


PS. Loved the interesting method of the article though.

Gerontology meets transportation research

…at a conference on “aging, mobility and quality of life“. Couldn’t be more timely with all the discussion about ageing populations in quite some parts of the Northern hemisphere. Here in Finland the debate goes as far as to question our standard of living in the future due to population ageing. Somewhat related to such population trends (and the mainstream cluster discourse), Nikodemus Solitander just questioned why Finland would want to attract more knowledge workers given its overeducated population where one cannot find enough plumbers, construction workers, bus drivers and cashiers…

But back to transportation research, the conference reminds of some of the gender projects in transportation, e.g. of the World Bank, the European Commission, UNEP, ADB, IFRTD and alls sorts of other lovely acronym organisations. There is even a community of practice for people working in this field. Not as if these problems would have been resolved – far from it! – but it is time to take on also age discrimination as well as different mobility patterns on the research agenda.



Facility location in the middle of nowhere

Facility location has fascinated geographers, logisticians, and ultimately, supply chain researchers for a long time. There are all the obvious push and pull factors, proximity to suppliers and markets, transportation rates etc. But what do you do if you have some sort of reason to locate a facility in the middle of nowhere (or a legacy of being located in the middle of nowhere)? Jan Husdal has now explored this question in terms of “sparse transportation networks”. Here it is. Delightful reading.


e-ducation: transport geography on the web

Who said e-books had to be books in pdf format on the web? The Geography of Transport Systems goes to show that e-ducation can indeed be different, more interlinked (or hyperlinked), more up to the user what to read first and how to link back and look up terms etc. What is more, it actually comes with figures on slides for educational purposes. I loved the “for personal or classroom use only” (emphasis added). It’s just to wish more SCM (or OM, LM, you name it) textbooks would follow suit…