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Innovations in urban transport

Why do innovations in low-energy transport emerge and develop more rapidly in some cities than in others? What can local governments and stakeholders do to stimulate the success of such innovations?

Urban Transport theme icon
Start date: 1 February, 2015 - End date: 1 May, 2018

Although reducing energy consumption in transport is notoriously difficult, efforts to do so by governments, corporate actors, civic society and citizens have increased markedly over the past decade. City-regions have become particularly important loci for innovations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and many cities (e.g. London, Oxford, Paris, Freiburg) have come to fulfil a test-bed function where experimentation with low energy innovations is concentrated. A wide array of innovations can be identified, focusing on both the ‘hardware’ of physical infrastructure and vehicles (e.g. bicycle lanes, wireless electric vehicle recharging, light rail systems) and the ‘software’ of institutions and practices (e.g. car and bicycle sharing schemes, congestion charging). Nonetheless, successes with regard to the emergence of low energy innovations in urban transport are geographically uneven: there are clear differences between city-regions and among different parts of individual city-regions. This suggests that transferability of innovations in urban transport cannot be assumed, and raises questions about how the flourishing of low energy innovations in urban transport in particular places can be maximised.

Transport Studies Unit poster thumbnail

The project will identify which factors and processes facilitate and obstruct low energy innovation in urban transport, examine to which extent these factors and processes are transferable across and within city-regions, and provide suggestions about what (local) governments and other stakeholders can do to stimulate the success of such innovations.


Project Documents

Project Outline (1 MB - pdf)
Summary of key findings (248 KB - pdf)
This project is part of our research on:

Project publications