Cyclists in China

Current transport systems, with their associated emissions and lifestyle choices, have widespread adverse impacts on public health and wellbeing. The associated physical inactivity, emissions and traffic accidents are all a growing source of public concern.

This 4-day residential course introduces the latest research on the complex relationships between different forms of transport and mobility, with health and wellbeing, including safety and air pollution. It introduces a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and tools to consider transport-related health impacts and social equity across spatial scales, geographical contexts and transport modes. Specific attention is given to the potential benefits associated with promoting active travel and in considering how to encourage active travel, and how cycling and walking can deliver benefits to personal well-being, public health, the economy and the environment.

Both participants and speakers contribute to the interactive sessions, bringing insights from different sectors and global locations. The main themes covered in the course are:

  • active travel, health and well-being;
  • the social and distributional impacts of transport;
  • the use of health impact assessment tools;
  • pathways to increase road safety.

At the same time, the course also provides practitioners with innovative perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to the integration of transport planning with health and wellbeing - using insights from across the social sciences including geography, anthropology, and sociology.

Participants are encouraged to take an active part in the sessions, which emphasise small-group teaching, critical thinking, and debate. You will be able to draw on expertise from different sectors and disciplines to develop new insights into the challenges you encounter in your day-to-day professional practice.

Status: CLOSED

Global Challenges in Transport: Health and Wellbeing

Learning Objectives

  • Explore and reflect on the multiple relationships of transport and mobility with health and wellbeing, including safety and air pollution;
  • Be able to use a range of transport-related social and health impact assessment tools and frameworks.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this course you will be able to:

  • assess the health and wellbeing impacts of different transport solutions and mobility options;
  • recognise the uneven nature of the socio-economic impacts of transport;
  • integrate a health and wellbeing perspective into transport decision-making;
  • utilise the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool; and
  • understand the wide range of policies and measures to tackle the health and wellbeing impacts of transport and road safety.

Who should attend?

The Health and Wellbeing course is designed for experienced transport professionals and researchers with a minimum of 3 years' experience in the sector and aims to bring together the world's leading experts from academia, policy and practice to address complex transport challenges. The course is intended for those who are looking to expand their knowledge horizons and gain a more in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges and solutions in delivering sustainable transport.

We specifically invite applications from:

  1. Professionals in both the health and transport and mobility consultancy sectors, who are in charge of implementing new solutions for health or transport.
  2. Individuals with experience in transportation consulting, planning, and related government agencies as well as health professionals.
  3. Academics and researchers in transportation planning, civil engineering, economics, planning, and/or urban mobility.

The course has so far attracted influential decision makers, public sector officials, NGOs, practitioners, and early career researchers - from across the globe.

Previous participants have joined the course from organisations including:

  • Global Call for Climate Action
  • The Executive Council of Dubai
  • Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority
  • And several international universities and research centres
  • Sustrans
  • Living Streets
  • Prasanna School of Public Health
  • Ministry of Transport and Public Works - Ecuador
  • The Netherlands Vehicle Authority

Course Content

The course programme includes the following sessions1:

  • Introduction to course - Dr Jennie Middleton (University of Oxford)
  • Wellbeing and mobility: an introduction - Prof Tim Schwanen (University of Oxford)
  • Leadership and sustainability - finding the gap - Edward Kellow (Kellow Learning)
  • Active travel - Dr Jennie Middleton (University of Oxford)
  • Building the case for the integration of health in transport decision-making in freight transport - Dr Audrey de Nazelle (UCL)
  • Practical: exploring the new WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool 4.0 for walking and cycling - Dr Christian Brand (University of Oxford)
  • Heath, wellbeing and travel to school in New Zealand - Dr Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford)
  • Developing socially inclusive mobility systems in the Global North and South New - Prof Karen Lucas (University of Leeds)
  • Livelihoods in motion: age-related mobility, transport and livelihoods in the urban Global South - Dr James Esson (Loughborough University)
  • Road safety in the real world: putting research into practice - Dr Margie Peden (The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford and the International Injury Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Public health and transport collaboration: the Bristol Model - Dr Adrian Davis (Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the West of England)

More sessions to be confirmed.

The course also includes a Welcome Lunch, a Networking Dinner, a formal End of the Programme Dinner and a Problem-Solving Workshop.

1TSU reserves the right to make alterations to the programme including the timetable, location, dates, content and method of delivery in response to operational demands.

Course Schedule

Download the 2019 programme [PDF: 115.4 KB]

Please note that the programme is indicative and may be subject to change.

Our Faculty

Dr Jennie Middleton, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Jennie Middleton

Jennie is a Senior Research Fellow in the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford. Prior to this she has held lecturing posts in human geography at Plymouth University and Kingston University. Whilst having a background in urban, social and cultural geography Jennie's research strongly relates to the field of mobilities and transport research. Her current research explores everyday urban mobility, particularly people's mobile experiences on foot, and the implications of this for urban and transport policy.

Dr Ersilia Verlinghieri, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Ersilia Verlinghieri

Ersilia is a Research Associate in the Transport Studies Unit. She researches resilience and resourcefulness in urban transport and individuals' everyday mobilities. More broadly, her research interests are focused on the conceptualisation of transport and mobility justice and on how transport disadvantaged mobilise capabilities and resources to deal with the mobility crises. Since 2016 she has been the Programme Coordinator for Executive Education in the Transport Studies Unit.

Prof Tim Schwanen, Director, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Tim Schwanen

Tim joined the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) in March 2009 and became Director in September 2015. He has been jointly appointed by TSU and the School of Geography since November 2012. Before coming to Oxford he worked as a lecturer in urban geography at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. At that university he also completed his PhD thesis (2003, cum laude) and MSc thesis (1999, cum laude). Tim's research can be positioned at the intersection of urban, transport, cultural and political and economic geography. It is international in outlook, interdisciplinary in scope and both theoretically oriented and empirical in nature. His key research interests include geographies of mobility; transitions to low-carbon and low-energy living and societies; ageing and well-being. Tim is one of the Deputy Directors of the RCUK-funded Research Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (2013-2018) in which the University of Sussex collaborates with the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.

Edward Kellow, Kellow Learning
Edward Kellow

A qualified trainer, facilitator and accredited executive coach, Edward Kellow has over 20 years' experience in learning and development. As head of a global sustainability leadership programme, he co-ordinated and delivered training programmes in Europe, Africa, South East Asia, China, North and South America. Edward has worked with business, government, academia, third sector and media organisations, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the British Council, UNDP, UNEP and World Vision UK.

Prof Karen Lucas, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Karen Lucas

Karen is Professor of Transport and Social Analysis at the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds. She has 20 years of experience in social research in transport and is a world-leading expert in the area of transport-related social exclusion. In 2015, Karen was given the Edward L. Ullman Award by the Transport Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and in 2016 the University of Leeds Women of Achievement Award - for her significant contribution to transportation geography.

Karen is a regular advisor to national governments in the UK. In 2002, she was seconded to the Social Exclusion Unit for fourteen months to develop policies to address the transport exclusion of low-income and disadvantaged groups and communities. She subsequently worked for the Department of Transport to undertake pilot studies and develop the Guidance on Accessibility Planning that resulted from this study.

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

Debbie is an Associate Professor in Human Geography jointly appointed between the School of Geography and the Environment, and the Sustainable Urban Development programme. Debbie was previously a Departmental Research Lecturer jointly appointed between the Transport Studies Unit and the School of Geography and the Environment (Oxford, 2017-2019). Debbie has been part of several large research centres and grant applications, including the Energy Cultures project (2013-2016, Otago), the Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand (2016-2018, Sussex, Manchester and Oxford), and the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (2019-2020, multi-institutional). In addition to this, Debbie leads research on low-carbon transitions, labour and mobilities, largely in relation to freight/trucking and waste. Debbie is a human geographer and environmental social scientist, interested in socio-spatial interpretations and experiences of environmental issues. Her research is broadly concerned with the social dimensions of climate change, socio-technical transitions, and the mobility of people, goods and 'waste', with a focus on cities and urban environments.

Dr James Esson, Loughborough University
James Esson

James was educated at Newcastle University and the University of Oxford, where he graduated with first class honours in Geography and obtained an MSc in Transport Planning and Policy (Distinction), and an MSc in Education. He was awarded his PhD, which explored the relationship between development, mobility and irregular migration in urban sub Saharan Africa, from University College London. His current research builds upon work conducted as part of the EU-FP7 African rural-city connections (RurbanAfrica) project, and focuses on examining how the mobility of urban residents forms part of their livelihood strategies.

Dr Margie Peden, The George Institute for Global Health (University of Oxford) and the International Injury Research Unit (Johns Hopkins University)
Margie Peden

Margie was educated in South Africa, and holds degrees in nursing, epidemiology and a PhD in injury epidemiology. She worked at Groote Schuur Hospital for 10 years before taking up a position at the South African MRC for 7 years. In 2000 she moved to WHO in Switzerland where she coordinated the Unintentional Injuries Prevention unit from 2000 to 2017. She was the executive editor of both the world reports on road traffic injury prevention (2004) and child injury prevention (2008). She also coordinated WHO's contribution to the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety and three global status reports on road safety. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Global Injury Programme at the George Institute, Oxford University and Associate Faculty in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr Audrey de Nazelle, Imperial College London
Audrey de Nazelle

Audrey is a Senior Lecturer in air pollution at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London. She conducts cutting-edge multidisciplinary research at the intersection of environmental sciences, health behaviour, transportation and urban planning. Her work aims at guiding decision makers towards health-promoting built environments and policies. It involves novel and holistic approaches to assessing behavioural, environmental and health impacts of urban plans and policies, and to engaging citizens and stakeholders in more sustainable and health-promoting decision making. She holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Environmental Sciences, a Maîtrise in Mathematics from the University of Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.

Dr Christian Brand, University of Oxford
Christian Brand

Christian is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Transport Studies Unit and Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. With a background in physics, environmental science and transport studies in both academic and consultancy environments, Christian's research focuses on sustainable transport in its many guises. This includes the energy and climate impacts of transport policy, multi-scale decision support systems, and life cycle transport-energy-environment systems modelling. He is Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and was Co-Investigator on the transport and health projects UK 'iConnect' and EU 'PASTA'. Most recently he has worked and published across disciplines on the role of active travel in meeting public health, climate change and sustainable transport objectives. He is member of the core group for the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling, which has recently been relaunched after a major upgrade to include physical activity, crash risk, air pollution and carbon impacts of active travel.

Dr Adrian Davis, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the West of England
Adrian Davis

Adrian co-founded the Transport and Health Study Group in 1988 and subsequently the Health and Transport Research Group at the Open University (1994-1999). He draws on his dual public health and transport planning training to capture the co-benefits through collaboration on road transport and public health. His focus since 2008 has been influenced by an embedded post as a transport and health specialist within Bristol City Council's Transport Department. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England, and Edinburgh University, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Transport and Health. In 2018 he took up the post of Professor of Transport & Health at Edinburgh Napier University.


The course is delivered over four days in the pleasant surroundings of Kellogg College, Oxford, with all accommodation and meals provided including a welcome lunch on arrival and a Formal Networking Dinner with special guest speakers.

Find out more about the accommodation

Scholarship Opportunities

Various discount options as well as scholarship opportunities are available. Find out more about our scholarships or contact us: