The actions and decisions regarding transport by policymakers, businesses, community organisations and individuals inevitably privilege certain issues, concerns and interests over others, with due consequences for the environment, public health and the economy. Interventions to improve transport are also conditioned by existing designs, regulation and norms. TSU research explores the politics, power dynamics and forms of governance behind transport decision-making, as part of its mission to support effective, just and inclusive transport futures.

What is studied?

The processes through which travel patterns, infrastructure development and innovations in transport systems are governed are examined. As part of this, research considers questions about how transport systems are known and how factors like efficiency, accountability and inclusiveness are or should be valued and treated in governance processes. The potential of participatory methods in governance is also explored.

The TSU approach

Using a variety of methods and insights from geography, political science, planning theory, policy studies, economics and innovation studies, this research theme explores the institutional, governance and planning aspects of transport and the ways in which these shape our political economy, built environment and climate.

Research objectives

  • Explore the political contexts of transport systems and understand how these are related to developments and sustainability transitions in transport.
  • Understand the institutional domains of transport and develop methodologies for effective, just and inclusive transport decision-making.
  • Examine and reflect on the politics around the creation of knowledge and expertise regarding transport through (big) data analysis, scenarios and risk analysis, and theory building.
  • Make a practical contribution to transport policy-making, particularly at the level of cities and urban areas.

Current Research Projects

Changing drivers: Knowing, imagining and shaping autonomous car users

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
Expectations for automated vehicles

Expectations for automated vehicles

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

Debbie HopkinsTim SchwanenChristian Brand
Exploring the Politics of Security behind Autonomous Vehicles

Exploring the Politics of Security behind Autonomous Vehicles

Funded by John Fell OUP Research Fund; 2019 - 2020; Dr Johannes Kester

Johannes Kester
V2GO (Vehicle-to-grid Oxford)

V2GO (Vehicle-to-grid Oxford)

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

Brendan DoodyTim SchwanenToon Meelen
The Regulation of Disruptive Innovations: The Case of Dockless Bicycle Hire

The Regulation of Disruptive Innovations: The Case of Dockless Bicycle Hire

Funded by Rees Jeffreys Road Fund; 2018 - 2020; Dr Geoffrey Dudley

Tim SchwanenGeoffrey DudleyDavid Banister
PEAK Urban

PEAK Urban

Funded by the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund; 2017-2022; University of Oxford with Peking University; The African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town; The Indian Institute for Human Settlements; Universidad EAFIT; Prof. Tim Schwanen, Dr Lucy Baker, Dr Jacob Doherty and Dr Juan-Pablo Orjuela

Lucy BakerTim SchwanenJuan-Pablo OrjuelaJacob Doherty

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

Tim SchwanentBrendan Doody
Changing commuting in large urban areas - identifying acceptable and effective measures (COMMUTE)

Changing commuting in large urban areas - identifying acceptable and effective measures (COMMUTE)

Funded by The Research Council of Norway; 2016 - 2019; Prof. Tim Schwanen

Tim Schwanen
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
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
The Governance of Transitions in Urban Mobility: The Case of Uber in London

The Governance of Transitions in Urban Mobility: The Case of Uber in London

Funded by Rees Jeffreys Road Fund; 2016 - 2017; Dr Geoff Dudley

Geoff Dudley
Bus Rapid Transit: Evaluating the wider economic impacts for urban growth

Bus Rapid Transit: Evaluating the wider economic impacts for urban growth

Funded by John Fell Oxford University Press (OUP) Research Fund; 2016-2017; Prof. Tim Schwanen and Dr Fiona Ferbrache

Fiona FerbracheTim Schwanen
BACK-SCENE: Backcasting scenarios as collaborative learning process: involving stakeholders in transport climate policy

BACK-SCENE: Backcasting scenarios as collaborative learning process: involving stakeholders in transport climate policy

Funded by European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (COFUND - Grant Agreement no. 291780) and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain); 2015-2017; University of Oxford with University of Granada, Spain; Prof David Banister and Dr Julio A. Soria-Lara

David Banister
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, Dr Nihan Akyelken and Dr Karen Anderton

Tim SchwanenDavid Banister
The Drive for Sustainable European Road Transport

The Drive for Sustainable European Road Transport: Science, evidence, politics and power

Funded by John Fell Fund University of Oxford; 2013-2016; Dr James Palmer

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
The Politics of Decision-Making in Large Infrastructure Projects: The case of High Speed Rail 2

The Politics of Decision-Making in Large Infrastructure Projects: The case of High Speed Rail 2

Funded by Rees Jeffreys Road Fund; 2014-2015; Prof David Banister

David Banister
SPREE

Servicizing Policy for Resource Efficient Economy (SPREE)

Funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme; 2012-2015; Prof David Banister, Dr Nihan Akyelken and Dr Karen Anderton in collaboration with 10 partners.

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
Research and Development of the European Transport Network Model - TRANSTOOLS version 3

Research and Development of the European Transport Network Model - TRANSTOOLS version 3

Funded by European Union's Seventh Framework Programme; 2011-2014; University of Oxford with multiple research partners; Prof David Banister

David Banister