The COVID-19 outbreak has brought sudden and drastic changes to transport systems worldwide. What do they mean for the future of transport?

This 5-week online course draws upon innovative theories and methods to analyse the medium and long term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the future of transport and mobility.

It adopts a specific focus on the possible pathways for radically transforming transport systems. Reflecting on current issues in the sector linked to carbon lock-in and transport-related injustice, the course explores ways to revolutionise transport. It considers key frameworks for thinking about change and transitions in terms of socio-technical transformation and transition management, transport justice, and theories on behavioural change. It examines the promise of smart technologies in transport and the ways in which hard and soft infrastructures are changing how we move and travel.

The course contains 6 core modules:

  • Transforming socio-technical system
  • Just transformations
  • Changing behaviours
  • The promise of technology
  • Changing infrastructures
  • Bringing about change.

Participants will be encouraged to take an active part in the sessions, which emphasise small-group teaching, critical thinking, networking 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 and network for world-leaders in the sector.

After the course you will also be able to join our lively Alumni community and you will be eligible for a 20% discount towards any of our residential courses.

Status: OPEN

Global Challenges in Transport: Urban Mobility after COVID-19

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and assess the wide range of policies and measures towards low carbon transitions and climate change adaptation in transport and their role after Covid-19.
  • Recognise and examine the uneven nature of the socio-economic impacts of transport and mobility systems.
  • Be able to assess and draw upon different perspectives on changing behaviour and behaviour-technology dynamics.
  • Critically examine and reflect on the latest insights on the role of technologies in shaping transport and mobility systems in different contexts.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this course you will be able to:

  • recognise the societal, economic and environmental effects of transformations in transport systems and mobility cultures;
  • use up-to-date knowledge of developments in the field to critically assess the benefits and risks of different approaches to transitions in transport systems;
  • recognise the ethical issues and potential conflicts associated with the adoption of new technologies, the development of new infrastructures and the use of different governance styles for transport futures;
  • draw from a pool of theoretical approaches and case studies to facilitate and steer the adoption of more sustainable solutions for urban mobility after Covid-19.

Who should attend?

The Urban Mobility after COVID-19 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 specifically intended for those who are looking to expand their knowledge horizons and have a more in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges and solutions in delivering sustainable transport.

We specifically invite applications from:

  1. Professionals in the transport and mobility consultancy sector in charge of implementing new solutions for transport systems.
  2. Individuals with experience in transportation consulting, planning, and related government agencies.
  3. Academics and researchers in transportation planning, civil engineering, economics, planning, and/or urban mobility.

Course Content

The course programme includes the following modules1:

Each module will include self-study material, a Case Study and an Oxford-style tutorial (you will be entitled to book 2 of these).

The course also includes a Problem Solving Workshop and Presentations, a Live Discussion Forum and Q&A sessions.

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

Information forthcoming.

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.

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 Johannes Kester, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Johannes Kester

Dr Johannes Kester is a senior research associate at the Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, with previous work on energy security, electricity grids and electric mobility. He currently works on the security governance behind road-based transport with a focus on safety, insurance and surveillance practices. Besides recent (co)authored work with Palgrave and Routledge, publications can be found in TRD, JTG, TFSC, RSES, GEC, Mobilities, EIST, Security Dialogue, Energy Policy and ERSS.

Dr Anna Plyushteva, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Anna Plyushteva

Dr Anna Plyushteva is Departmental Research Lecturer in Transport Studies at the TSU. She has been conducting research on the socio-technical infrastructures of transport and mobility since 2012, focusing initially on the impacts of a new metro line on commuting in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her current work examines the intersections between transport systems and other urban infrastructures, and the social relations in which transport participates, particularly those of gender, affordability, and workplaces. She has conducted research in Brussels, Lima, London, and Manila.

Dr Lucy Baker, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Lucy Baker

Lucy is a research associate in urban mobility working on the GCRF funded PEAK Urban programme. She is researching technological transitions in paratransit services of Bengaluru, one of India's 100 smart cities. Her work examines the influence of the state, international development banks, the private finance sector and passengers in scaling-up digital fare payments and other 'fintech' in the auto rickshaw industry as part of a larger push towards a cashless economy.

Lucy completed her PhD in human geography at Cardiff University, Wales funded by ESRC Wales in 2018. It explored issues of rural/urban mobilities, urban governance, global and local design of mobility systems, commodity networks, poverty, wellbeing, gender, and development. Lucy has examined how transport solutions of the Global South are co-produced by social-material networks of international and local NGOs, donors, structures of governance and local users.

Dr Toon Meelen, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Toon Meelen

Toon is a Research Associate at the Transport Studies Unit. His research concerns transitions to a more sustainable mobility system. In Oxford he works on the Vehicle-to-Grid Oxford (V2GO) and Park and Charge electric vehicle projects. In his PhD dissertation (Utrecht University, 2019), Toon examined the role of users in upscaling sustainable innovations, for the cases of car-sharing and electric vehicles. He holds a bachelor and master degree (cum laude) in Science and Innovation Management from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Overall, Toon's research can be situated between the fields of Sustainability Transitions and Geography. It blends various theoretical strands and methodologies and centers around the following themes: 1) the diffusion of sustainable innovations; 2) synergies and tensions between addressing economic inequalities and environmental problems in mobility transitions; and 3) the roles of users in various phases of transitions to sustainability.

Dr Denver Nixon, University of British Columbia
Toon Meelen

Denver Nixon is currently lecturing in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. During his postdoctoral work in the Transport Studies Unit at Oxford he investigated community-led walking and cycling infrastructural initiatives for marginalized communities in London and São Paulo to critically evaluate their nature, challenges, and potential contributions to just transitions in urban mobility. His doctoral research studied how people's modes of mobility shape their understandings of their social and physical environments and in this way reproduce or transform dominant transport systems. More broadly, Denver is interested in how environmentally (un)sustainable and socially (un)just practices are formed and maintained through embodied experiences and particular social and material contexts.

Dr Rafael Pereira, Institute for Applied Economic Research, Brazil
Rafael Pereira

Rafael Pereira works as a researcher and head of the data science team at the Department of Regional, Urban and Environmental Studies and Policies at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) in Brazil. His research looks broadly at how urban and transport policies shape the spatial organization of cities, human mobility patterns as well as their impacts on social and health inequalities. Rafael is particularly interested in the equity concerns underlying impact assessment of urban and transport planning policies and their effects on inequalities in access to opportunities. He has a background in sociology and demography and obtained his PhD in Geography from the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) at Oxford University.

Nina Teng, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Nina Teng

Nina is a doctoral candidate focused on shared mobility innovations at the University of Oxford's Transport Studies Unit at the School of Geography and the Environment. Prior to her doctoral studies, she served as the founding Vice President of Public Affairs on the early team at Grab, Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing platform, from 2013 to 2017. At Grab, she led regional expansion efforts to launch and manage new ride-hailing services as the Country Heads of Thailand and Vietnam; and worked closely with government regulators and public stakeholders to develop new regulations for the ride-hailing industry. Nina also holds a BS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


The course is delivered fully online on our Oxford Canvas platform. The course is designed to allow full accessibility and we will be able to assist you with any additional needs. Once enrolled, you will receive full instructions on how to join.

Scholarship Opportunities

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