Climate change is the greatest existential challenge of our time. As one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, transport is a crucial factor to consider. The TSU’s research has shown that technological fixes such as electric vehicles will not solve the climate emissions conundrum on their own; more deep and meaningful change is required to the ways in which we live and move.

What is studied?

Energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution across all modes of passenger and freight transport are considered. The research focuses primarily on regions and cities in the UK and Europe, yet with a fast-growing strategic focus on the urban Global South.

The TSU approach

Research in this area is informed by theories from geography, social psychology, economics, innovation studies and engineering. Researchers develop and deploy quantitative methods such as simulation and optimisation tools and qualitative methods such as in-depth interview analysis, workshops and shadowing transport professionals in their daily business.

Research objectives

  • Explore the nexus of travel demand, energy use, air quality and carbon emissions at the individual, household, city and national levels.
  • Examine the emergence and development of innovations that are expected to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions in passenger and freight transport.
  • Understand how transport systems and practices can be made more resilient to climate change.
  • Explore different long-term futures for low-carbon and resilient transport systems.
  • Develop and apply multi-scale decision support systems and modelling tools.
  • Make a practical contribution to policy making in the transport, climate, air quality and energy domains.

Current Research Projects

Image: David.Sch / AdobeStock

UK Energy Research Centre Phase 4

Funded by UKRI Energy Programme; 2019 - 2024 ; Dr Christian Brand

James DixonChristian Brand
Global and Local Health Impact Assessment of Transport (GLASST)

Global and Local Health Impact Assessment of Transport (GLASST): methods for prioritising model development

Funded by EU Horizon 2020; 2019 - 2024; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand
Fuel and Transport Poverty in the UK's Energy Transition (FAIR)

Fuel and Transport Poverty in the UK's Energy Transition (FAIR)

Funded by EPSRC; 2019 - 2023; Dr Debbie Hopkins

Debbie Hopkins
CREDS: Modelling flexibility of transport-energy systems over time, mode & place

Modelling flexibility of transport-energy systems over time, mode & place (CREDS Project 2.2.2)

Funded by EPSRC; 2019 - 2022; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand
Changing drivers project

Changing drivers: Knowing, imagining and shaping autonomous car users

Funded by British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship; 2019 - 2021; Dr Brendan Doody

Brendan Doody
Park and Charge

Park and Charge

Funded by Innovate UK; 2019 - 2021; Prof. Tim Schwanen

Hannah BudnitzTim SchwanenToon Meelen
CREDS: Expectations for automated vehicles

Expectations for automated vehicles

Funded by EPSRC; 2019 - 2020; Prof. Tim Schwanen

Debbie HopkinsTim SchwanenChristian Brand
Experiences of and responses to urban flooding in Kisumu, Kenya

Experiences of and responses to urban flooding in Kisumu, Kenya

Funded by Global Challenges Research Fund Oxford; 2019 - 2020; Dr Debbie Hopkins

Tim SchwanenDebbie HopkinsJacob Doherty
V2GO (Vehicle-to-grid Oxford)

V2GO (Vehicle-to-grid Oxford)

Funded by Innovate UK; 2018 - 2021; Prof. Tim Schwanen

Brendan DoodyTim SchwanenToon Meelen
UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Phase III - Decision Making Theme, Energy and Transport topic

UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Phase III - Decision Making Theme, Energy and Transport topic

Funded by UKERC phase 3 Flexible Research Fund; 2014; University of Oxford with University of Leeds; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand
Accelerating decreases in van carbon emissions (adVANce)

Accelerating decreases in van carbon emissions (adVANce)

Funded by the EPSRC via the UKERC phase 3 Flexible Research Fund; 2016-2019; University of Oxford with University of Leeds; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand
UK Energy Research Centre, Energy Demand Theme

UK Energy Research Centre: Energy Demand Theme

The TSU participates in this research theme funded by NERC; 2004-2019; Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, with sectoral input from University of Bath, University College London and University of Aberdeen; Dr Nick Eyre and Dr Christian Brand

Christian BrandNick Eyre

Recent Research Projects

Go Ultra Low Oxford (GULO) - Monitoring and Evaluation Study

Go Ultra Low Oxford (GULO) - Monitoring and Evaluation Study

Funded by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicle (OLEV); 2017 - 2019; Dr Brendan Doody

Tim SchwanenBrendan DoodySam Hampton
TEMPEST (Transforming household mobility practices through shared consumption: Low-carbon transport and sustainable energy solutions in urban areas)

TEMPEST (Transforming household mobility practices through shared consumption: Low-carbon transport and sustainable energy solutions in urban areas)

Funded by Research Council of Norway: Forskerprosjekt - ENERGIX (Project Number: 255430); 2017-2019; Dr Brendan Doody

Tim SchwanenBrendan Doody
Climate Change and Everyday Mobility (CLIMAMOB)

Climate Change and Everyday Mobility (CLIMAMOB)

Funded by the Research Council of Norway; 2015-2019; University of Oxford with Transport Economics Institute (Oslo), Norwegian Metrological Office and University of Utrecht; Prof David Banister

David Banister
Maximising Home Delivery

Maximising Home Delivery

Funded by the EPSRC; 2016-2018; University of Oxford with University of Cambridge, Heriot Watt University, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco; Prof. Tim Schwanen and Dr Christian Brand

Tim SchwanenChristian Brand
Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand

Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand

Funded by the Financial support from the EPSRC's End User Energy Demand Programme; 2013-2018; University of Oxford with SPRU, University of Sussex, and the Business School at the University of Manchester; Prof. Tim Schwanen and Dr Debbie Hopkins

Tim SchwanenDebbie Hopkins
Sustainable Cities and Resilient Transport

Sustainable Cities and Resilient Transport

Funded by the British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links: 2015; 2015-2017; University of Oxford with University College London, De La Salle University, Manila, and Clean Air Asia, Manila; Prof David Banister, Prof. Tim Schwanen and Dr Anna Plyushteva

Anna PlyushtevaTim SchwanenDavid Banister
Renewable Energy Projects: Local Impacts and Sustainability (RELEASE)

Renewable Energy Projects: Local Impacts and Sustainability (RELEASE)

Funded by Research Council of Norway; 2014-2017; University of Oxford with multiple research partners; Prof David Banister

David Banister
URBANEFF: Investigating three complex issues regarding effects of land use and transport systems developments on traffic volumes and GHG emissions

URBANEFF: Investigating three complex issues regarding effects of land use and transport systems developments on traffic volumes and GHG emissions

Funded by Institute of Transport Economics, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research; 2014-2017; Norwegian Centre for Transport Research, University of Oxford, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Aalborg University (Denmark) and Tampere University of Technology (Finland); Prof David Banister

David Banister
Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA)

Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA)

Funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme; 2013-2017; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) with multiple research partners; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand
SUSTAIN: National Transport Planning - Sustainability, institutions and tools

SUSTAIN: National Transport Planning - Sustainability, institutions and tools

Funded by Danish Council for Strategic Research (DSF); 2012-2016; Technical University of Denmark with University of Oxford and multiple research partners; Prof David Banister

David Banister
TRANSFORuM: Transport 2050

TRANSFORuM: Transport 2050

Funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme; 2013-2015; Prof David Banister and Dr Karen Anderton in collaboration with 11 partners

David Banister
Future Roadmaps of Transportation Energy and Technology

Future Roadmaps of Transportation Energy and Technology

Funded by the Korea Institute of Energy Research; 2013-2015; University of Oxford and the Korea Institute of Energy Research; Dr Christian Brand

Christian Brand

Past Research Projects