Sandpit: Transport Behaviours Network.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Edinburgh College of Art

Abstract

This Network extends the December 2010, UK Research Councils Ideas Factory "Transport Grand Challenge: Travel behaviour, habits and practice". The Ideas Factory drew attention to the significant contribution that the transport sector makes toward the production of CO2, and whilst it is recognised that improvements in vehicle technologies and fuel choices will reduce emissions, the travel choices of the individual remain complex and entrenched in habit. Consequently the five-day Sandpit focused upon the determinants and incentives for changing travel behaviour, habits and practice in order to better understand how we can move toward increased use of lower carbon transport.

The Department for Transport paper: Low carbon transport: A greener future (2009), indentified the apparent willingness for the public to change their travel behaviours but a resistance for them to actual implement them. People's decision-making toward travel is complex and irrational, making it difficult to shift patterns away from excessive use of the car, in favour for more cost effective, sustainable and at times quicker methods of transport.

Reasons are complex, but it is evident that new technologies do not always offer the best solution, and may (in some cases) exacerbate problems. The Sandpit process sought to unpack the habits and pressures upon individuals, families and businesses that inhibit the opportunity to make better choices about travel.

The proposed three and half year Network will sustain the intellectual synergy that was developed through the five day Sandpit, and offer a framework in which the project partners can sustain communication, explore new ideas, share good practice and develop means of disseminating knowledge to the public, industry and affect policy.

The funding will support two primary methods of sustaining and developing the group: annual 2-day workshops/meetings for project partners to get together, and a digital network platform that can integrate the activities of the four funded projects, as well as disseminate progress and findings to the world.

Planned Impact

The 'Transport Grand Challenge: Travel behaviour, habits and practice' sandpit brought together over 20 experts who together approached a critical problem facing society in the 21st century. Four imaginative projects were funded as a result of the intellectual and creative synergies that were generated throughout the intensive five-day workshop. The proposed Network has the opportunity to galvanise and consolidate all of the project members and develop what may be best understood as a 'Transport Behaviours Think-Tank'. This plan outlines what kinds of impact the think-tank can expect to achieve within three years, how it will engage different communities and offer a vision for its international image once it is complete.

Impact Objectives
Although the Network itself operates as a facilitating mechanism to support the research activities of the four funded projects: Sixth Sense Transport, Disruption, DESIRE and Reflect, the Network has the potential to articulate critical aspects of the research that is revealed through the individual projects and offer a coherent and accessible portal to demonstrate their social, economic and environmental benefits.

Thus the Network will:
(i) disseminate new intellectual findings and understanding in the area of transport and behaviour
(ii) provide an accessible website that will promote the findings of the four projects to national and international audiences
(iii) develop a virtual think-tank that is able to respond to the challenges posed by transport behaviours and offer academic, industrial and political insight

Publications

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Southern, J. & Speed, C. (2015) Moving Sites

 
Description Since beginning in the summer of 2011 the network organised five meetings to date. Each meeting offered a diet involving update presentations from each project, presentations from relevant external organisations / researchers, and a practical workshop.

Meeting 1 at the University of Aberdeen January 2012 immediately following the Universities Transport Studies Group conference.

Meeting 2 at the Museum of Transport, London July 2012 including workshop at the CASA Lab at UCL, and invited speakers Dr Ben Barratt, London Air app, King's College London and George MacKerron with Mappiness.

Meeting 3 at the University of Brighton April 2013 including GPS workshop and e-Bikes demonstration, invited speaker John Screeton, Behavioural Insights and Attitudes Team, Department for Transport, UK Government.

Meeting 4 at the University of Leeds, June 2013, Making Mixed-Methods Research Work, Travel Behaviours Workshop. A day long event involving network members but also open to UK researchers. 5 talks plus roundtable.

Meeting 5 at the MOSI (The Museum of Science and Industry) in Manchetser June 2014. Presentations and discussion with Rachel Jones (Innovate UK / Catapults) as advisor toward impact and dissemination.
Exploitation Route The network operated a series of structured events and platforms to communicate the findings and share knowledge:

1. The network organised meetings on an 8 monthly basis throughout the duration of the 5 projects. Meetings were held in industrial / academic and cultural environments so that teams were able to contextualise findings to date as well as receive new knowledge from external parties.

2. The network hosted and supported individual websites for each projects that ran on the Wordpress platform. This allowed projects to provide details about each project as well as blog regular updates. The Wordpress platforms were also set up in such a way that content was syndicated to a main network website that displayed all of the blog posts from all of the projects. In this way the network operated as a one-stop-shop for diving in to the progress of the research projects. To date the website has presented over 148 blog posts that are collected from the 5 projects. The project also has a twitter account with 305 followers that tweets news updates as they are posted by research partners.

3. The network helped the communication of projects by offering media support in the development of short movies. Uploaded to YouTube for public consumption, the movies described the work of each project to the general public.

4. To mark the end of the Travel Behaviours Network we showcased the research projects over two events Moving Behaviours: Designing City Connections on 15 June at the Future Cities Catapult London and Moving Behaviours: Connecting Travel on 23 June at the Transport Systems Catapult Milton Keynes.

The events were micro festivals consisting of stands presented 'take aways' for policy and business. Lightning talks by researchers prevented the event from becoming overtly academic. Across the five projects there were a wide variety of papers, software products, platforms, green papers, awards and media artefacts that will constitute the material within the exhibition.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.travelbehaviours.net
 
Description This was a network grant that supports the communication, sharing of knowledge and dissemination of findings from 5 separately funded projects that emerged from a RCUK Energy/Digital Economy Sandpit in 2010. The network was led by Prof Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh and supported by a close advisory team made up of investigators who are involved in the research projects: Prof Jillian Anable, Dr Tom Cherrett and Dr Tim Chatterton. The network had no direct research objectives from which findings can be derived, but was geared to communicating the findings of the following projects: Disruption: the raw material for low carbon change EP/J00460X/1 Sandpit: Smart e-bikes - understanding how commuters and communities engage with electrically-assisted cycling EP/J004855/1 MOT: Motoring and car Ownership Trends in the UK EP/K000438/1 Sixth Sense Transport (Reducing/re-distributing transport options through a flexible interpretation of time) EP/J004650/1 SANDPIT - 'Reflect': A feasibility study in experienced utility and travel behavior EP/J004715/1
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Title CoGet 
Description Across the connected city small things play a large part in sustaining the flow between people and places. Cups of tea, bottles of water, books, four way plug adaptors, bicycles, computers and many more objects are the 'things' that support the meeting of people and the jobs that they do. However sometimes these things aren't where we need them, and flow is halted. If things knew where they were likely to be needed, perhaps they could ask passers-by to move them there. CoGet iPhone software reveals where things want to go, and asks the public to move them on their behalf. Connected to the net, and able to read the social complexity of a local area, CoGet lets objects control people's movements by predicting where they need to be, and borrowing the legs of a human to move them. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact In March 2014 we ran a series of workshops at the Future Everything festival in Manchester to better understand what it might be like to allow objects to 'piggy back' the urban routines that we perform on a daily basis so that they may move across the city. 
URL https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/coget/id843552747?mt=8
 
Title Comob Net 
Description https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/comob-net/id326303438?mt=8 Comob Net allows a group of people to see each others geographical locations in 'real-time' and connect them up with lines. To see your friends' locations, ask them to run the app and set the same group name on all phones in the settings tab. The application was designed for an arts / cultural project and has some features to support its use in galleries or in the street. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Used in a host of conferences, workshops as underlying technology. Southern, J. & Speed, C. (2015) Sharing occasions at a distance: the different dimensions of comobility. In Moving Sites: Investigating Site-Specific Dance Performance Edited Victoria Hunter. Oxford: Routledge. 
URL http://www.comob.org.uk
 
Description Moving Behaviours: Connecting Travel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 23 June 2015 12-5.30pm Transport Systems Catapult

A three year program of research comprising 5 projects, funded to the tune of £6 million, to focus upon the determinants and incentives for changing travel behaviour, habits and practice is nearing its completion.
The event shared with industry and government some of the complexity that surrounds behaviour, solutions that have been found to work, and how to use data to reveal new patterns.

Highlights included:
- A 3-year empirical study of people's everyday lives that reveals the complexity and barriers to change by looking at disruptions that force people to change
- How commuters and communities engage with electrically assisted cycling and observe car miles drop by 20%
- How to use new datasets to reveal new usage patterns
- How to change peoples' behaviour to reduce travel emissions
- How to recalibrate the flow of people and transport through a series of innovative digital apps in tourism, transport and logistics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.travelbehaviours.net
 
Description Moving Behaviours: Designing City Connections 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 15 June 5-7.30pm
Future Cities Catapult Urban Innovation Centre

A three year program of research comprising 5 projects, funded to the tune of £6 million, to focus upon the determinants and incentives for changing travel behaviour, habits and practice is nearing its completion.
Shared with industry and government some of the complexity that surrounds behaviour, solutions that have been found to work, and how to use data to reveal new patterns.

The event highlighted:
- A 3-year empirical study of people's everyday lives that reveals the complexity and barriers to change by looking at disruptions that force people to change
- How commuters and communities engage with electrically assisted cycling and observe car miles drop by 20%
- How to use new datasets to reveal new usage patterns
- How to change peoples' behaviour to reduce travel emissions
- How to recalibrate the flow of people and transport through a series of innovative digital apps in tourism, transport and logistics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.travelbehaviours.net
 
Description Pecha Kucha Visions of Future Cities, Institute for Future Cities, Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The City Observatory hosted a Pecha Kucha Glasgow night in collaboration with Taktal: "Visions of Future Cities".
10 speakers from diverse backgrounds presented, using 20 slides for 20 seconds only, what their vision of the Future City is.

Speed presented work across AHRC and EPSRC grants that described the future of the city.

Lots of positive engagement through the topics of AI, IoT and the city
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://ifuturecities.com/pecha-kucha-glasgow-night-visions-of-future-cities/
 
Description Speed, C., Maxwell, D., Tynan-O'Mahony, F., Mehrpouya, H., and Monsen, K. (2015) PuBliC. Workshop at Future Everything conference, 26th-27th February, Manchester. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact PuBliC is a collaborative project from the Centre for Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh and the Manchester Cycling Lab, which sent people out into the city as sensors to gather data, ideas, and insights that were integrated into a research paper published at the end of the day.

Very popular 2 day event that led to the paper:
31 authors including Maxwell, D., & Speed, C. (2015) Re-writing the City: Negotiating and Reflecting on Data Streams. British HCI 2015, 13-17 July 2015, Lincoln. [Accepted] 

Lots of positive feedback and the co-authoring of the paper subverted many traditional academic practices toward policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://futureeverything.org/events/public-2/
 
Description Speed: Designing Through the City as Database. Designing Smart Cities : Opportunities and Regulatory Challenges, CREATe: RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. 31st-1st April. 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Designing Through the City as Database. Designing Smart Cities : Opportunities and Regulatory Challenges, CREATe: RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. 31st-1st April. 2015.

Speed introduced research across transport and IoT to explore the implications of designing within smart cities.

Warmly received and led to further presentations and conversations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.create.ac.uk/blog/2014/11/06/designing-smart-cities/
 
Description Time of the City, workshop for CityLink Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Time of the City, workshop for CityLink Festival
The City Link Symposium 2015 was a celebration of cities and the people and activity that shape them. They brought together speakers who in different ways have studied, considered, altered or impacted the urban environment.

Speed ran a workshop that reflected on the temporal issues running through the departments research.
Very positive engagement that identified time as a core issue within the digital economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://city-link.org/event/city-link-symposium-2015-democratic-renewal/