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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Modelling on the Move: Towards Transport System Transitions?

This seminar series brings together researchers from different disciplines and practitioners to discuss innovative ways of responding to pressing policy problems. Twenty-first century societies face three interlinked and seemingly intractable energy problems: climate change, obesity, and oil depletion. The need for change is urgent: the UK has set legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. All sectors must decarbonise, but the transport sector is lagging behind, even though moving to a highly active, low carbon transport system would generate substantial health and environmental benefits. Meeting this challenge requires new collaborations, new perspectives, and new combinations of existing methods.

We focus on transport modelling, which uses mathematical equations to represent how people, vehicles, and goods travel. Transport modelling plays a key role in policy development and policy choice, and whilst it is changing in response to the need for systemic transitions in transport, it is unclear whether changes so far are fundamental enough. More profound changes may be necessary and we will respond to these challenges by creating new collaborations between modellers, social scientists, and population health scientists, to explore approaches to transport modelling that can help us understand, and bring forward, system transition.