DEPICT: DEsigning and Policy Implementation for encouraging Cycling and walking Trips

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Transport Studies Unit SoGE

Abstract

Walking and cycling are the most sustainable modes of transport in cities and should be placed at the heart of a transition towards low-carbon urban mobility systems. This is because walking and cycling can improve the life chances and health and wellbeing of each city inhabitant -- irrespective of their socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, age -- with hardly any adverse impact on the lives of fellow inhabitants. Research on how walking and cycling in cities can be encouraged is burgeoning and provides many compelling insights. However, insights about the role of infrastructure in stimulating urban walking and cycling are limited because the focus is typically on the 'hardware' of cycle lanes, sidewalks, bike sharing schemes, road design, urban design and so forth; the 'software' of governance, regulation, information provision, maintenance and repair as well as the embedded knowledge, know-how, meanings, values, aspirations and emotions are not always given the emphasis they deserve. Moreover, the research is often set in cities in the global North and assumes insights and concepts that has emerged from there as universally valid and easily transferable to cities in the global South.

This international research project will adopt a broader understanding of infrastructure and develop original empirical and theoretical insights on the basis of comparative research in the UK, the Netherlands and the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The activities undertaken by the Oxford team focus on the role of community-led initiatives in London to encourage walking and cycling and in creating infrastructures that are conducive to these practices. The Oxford researchers will make an inventory of the heterogeneity of recent community-led initiatives in both cities, covering such issues as what they consist of, who are involved, what the goals are, and who benefits. The Oxford team will also critically evaluate if and how such initiatives can contribute to a large-scale transition towards low-carbon urban mobility. A mixed-method approach consisting of document analysis, interviews and focus groups will be adopted, and the team will engage with local communities, policymakers, interest groups and other stakeholders in various ways. It can be expected that, apart from creating academic outputs, the project will contribute to: social learning among community-led initiatives through the sharing of experiences and good practices; to greater reflexivity about how policy, governance and regulation affect community-led initiatives; and to the creation of more effective support structures for such initiatives.

Planned Impact

There are a wide range of potential beneficiaries of the research. These can be divided into direct and indirect potential beneficiaries.

Direct potential beneficiaries include individuals and organisations who are involved in the project:
1| interviewed individuals with a leading role in community initiatives to encourage walking and cycling in London and São Paulo
2| interviewed policymakers in both cities
3| participants in the focus groups in the selected neighbourhoods in those cities
4| attendees representing community initiatives, walking and cycling interest groups, and the policy community in those cities
5| individuals and organisations included in the e-mail database that will be constructed and continually updated

Indirect potential beneficiaries are not directly involved in the project but may benefit from visiting the project website, from the policy and project briefings, or from the responses by direct beneficiaries to the project's engagement activities. These indirect potential beneficiaries include:
1| People, NGOs and businesses involved in community-led initiatives to encourage walking and cycling in London and São Paulo (and not directly engaged by the project), in other cities and areas in the UK and Brazil, and in locations elsewhere
2| policymakers and transport planners at both national/state and local/city levels in the UK, Brazil, the Netherlands and elsewhere
3| walking and cycling interest groups and lobby groups in the UK, Brazil, the Netherlands and elsewhere
4| socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in London and São Paulo
5| pedestrians, cyclists and the general public in the UK, Brazil and the Netherlands

The identified stakeholders may benefit in various ways from the project. As detailed in the 'Pathways to Impact', they may develop a better understanding of what community-led initiatives there are in London and São Paulo, what benefits they generate and for whom, which challenges and barriers they face, and what their contribution can be to a wider transition towards 'just' urban mobility. This knowledge may have a number of more specific effects. It may lead to:
- the diffusion and sharing of good practices (first-order learning) among grassroots initiatives to encourage walking and cycling;
- greater networking among such initiatives;
- greater reflexivity (second-order learning) among policymakers, planners and interest groups about how current policies and governance structures, including funding schemes and consultation/participation mechanisms, both facilitate and complicate/frustrate community-led initiatives;
- enhanced (government) support and reduced (regulatory) barriers for community-led initiatives; and
- greater knowledge about, and visibility of, community-led initiatives to encourage walking and cycling among pedestrians, cyclists and the general public.
 
Description The wider DEPICT project, which is a collaboration of researchers in the Universities of Oxford, Utrecht (the Netherlands) and São Paulo (Brazil), seeks to answer the question of which features of the urban environment, governance of physical infrastructures and of local communities influence walking and cycling and how can they be optimised to achieve sustainable urban mobility for all. Within this broader context the Oxford team have sought to examine grassroots or citizen-led initiatives to stimulate cycling and walking in London and São Paulo, and to examine if and how these initiatives can contribute to 'just' transitions in urban mobility.

The Oxford team have compiled a database of 225+ largely active walking and cycling initiatives and created a typology of organizations undertaking these activities based on 1) what social needs (e.g. disabled individuals, gender-variant people, people living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods) they consider, 2) what transport mode (walking, cycling, both) they concentrate on, 3) what type of infrastructure (e.g. cycle training, group walks, maintenance and repair workshops, do-it-together bicycle lanes or zebra crossings, and signage and navigation) they provide, and 4) what kind of organisation (charity, cooperative, social enterprise) they are.

The studied initiatives produce multiple kinds of benefit, which can be classified into user benefits; benefits for leaders, staff and volunteers; and systemic benefits. Benefits to individual users - i.e. people who have participated in activities associated with the initiatives and organisations studied - can be understood as enhanced well-being. Users' capabilities to participate in social life in the city are increased because they increase people's opportunities to walk and cycle, enhance people's skills and ability to harness those opportunities, and work on people's motives, values and aspirations so that they feel that walking and cycling is something they can do and achieve. This in turn allows them to get to places they couldn't access before; changes their horizons and ambitions about what they might achieve in life; and can generate experiences of enjoyment, freedom, independence and belonging. Leaders, staff and volunteers benefit in various ways, including the livelihoods afforded to them, as well as the satisfaction derived from helping vulnerable individuals and groups.

Systemic benefits include firstly increased social cohesion and community formation at the neighbourhood level, and secondly a catering to the mobility needs of social groups that are insufficiently catered for by public policy. The initiatives therefore also help to reduce social inequalities in mobility and the capacity to get to places. Thirdly, the initiatives studied are often highly experimental and in many ways are the sites where radical innovations in the promotion of cycling and walking occur. The beneficiaries of these innovations are not limited to the direct users of the provided infrastructure services and also include other actors involved in transport planning and those seeking to redress social inequalities, such as local authorities and more established charities. Fourthly, through the often small-scale interventions and activities they provide, the initiatives also play an important symbolic role. On the one hand they raise questions about the prevailing distributions of the right to mobility and of responsibilities for the cycling and walking support and infrastructure. On the other hand they communicate a narrative of empowerment by showing what can be achieved through do-it-yourself and do-it-together community action. They demonstrate that more socially and spatially just mobility futures can be enacted. Fifthly, the initiatives that have been studied allow new understandings of the relationship of mobilities on foot and by bike with wellbeing. These understandings are less focused on individual subjective experiences of pleasure (affect, life satisfaction) or flourishing but collective and focused on interconnected capabilities and the potential to lead valuable lives without adverse affected others' potential to do so.

Some significant differences in initiatives have become evident between London and São Paulo and within each cities. For instance, in the central parts of São Paulo initiatives are more connected with each other and there is a greater sense of a collective social movement around cycling, walking and a city that works for everyone than there is both in the periphery of São Paulo and across London. There is also greater collaboration in central São Paulo with local authorities and large commercial organisations (e.g. banks), although organisations also switch to a greater activist orientation during local administrations that are less interested in promoting cycling and walking in (central) São Paulo. Finally, across São Paulo there is a greater emphasis on do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-together (DIT) provision of physical infrastructures such as zebra crossings, bicycle lanes and staircases. This DIY/DIT spirit was, according to research participants, part of Brazilian culture and has deep roots in history: during the era of European colonialism colonizers could not be trusted to provide universal infrastructures for all and in the post-colonial period a similar lack of trust has emerged with regard to the government at national and state level. In contrast, physical infrastructures such as zebra crossings, footpaths and bike lanes tended to be seen in London as the responsibility or guarded domain of the local state. The emphasis of grassroots initiatives in London is more on complementary services such as bikeability and maintenance training, group rides and making disability bicycles accessible.

In both cities most studied organisations struggle to survive, particularly with respect to financial and human resources and work spaces. The initiatives they run thus flood and ebb over time. 'Up-scaling' or growth nonetheless occurs in various ways, and a typology of growth has been developed which considers what has changed (practice, organisation, wider movement, impact) and for whom (staff and volunteers, end users, third parties). The typology makes clear that growth takes a range of forms: extension of a practice, a spin off practice, diversification of a practice, appropriation of a practice, the development of new skills and abilities; and higher-order impacts on the practices and thinking of third parties such as local authorities or established charities. The particular historical trajectory of growth as well as decline and stability depends on how organisations respond to internal and contextual pressures, such as lack of funding and suitable staff, calls for professionalisation and the willingness to collaborate with established actors such as the (local) state and funding agencies.

The Oxford team have also worked with the Dutch and Brazilian consortium partners. One key finding from this is a deeper understanding of what aspects of physical cycling infrastructure and traffic situations trigger stress during bike rides in UK and Dutch cities. Physically segregating cyclists from drivers is the most important way of reducing experiences of stress during bike rides, although stress is also greater when cyclists and pedestrians share the same infrastructure, when traffic and noise levels are higher, with certain road surfaces (e.g. unpaved roads) and when cyclists have to turn left or right. These findings were obtained in natural experiments in five cities (London, Oxford, Amsterdam, Groningen, Houten) during which participants wore smart bands to measure skin conductance during a standardised route in which they experienced different infrastructural and traffic conditions. The Oxford team have also advised the Dutch and Brazilian partners on both the design and the analysis of the virtual reality cycling experiments that have been conducted as part of the wider DEPICT project.
Exploitation Route Grassroots innovations can be supported, and their benefits maximized, through more and more long-term operational funding from national or local government, and protection through regulatory measures and tax shielding. São Paulo revealed the emerging importance of larger not-for-profit organisations in funding smaller, more locally scaled initiatives. Nonetheless, desire for upscaling, or identical replication, of any one project cannot be assumed automatically. To do so would be to ignore the benefits of grassroots innovations that can be undermined or depreciated through growth that follows mainstream business models. It is perhaps better to facilitate and assist grassroots project initiation, and then provide operational support regardless of aspirations for growth. However, rather than simply "transferring" or "plugging in" a universal, formulaic policy solution in all places and at all levels of government, each government body and/or funding agency will have to tailor supportive policy and funding requirements that attend to the uniqueness of the particular local contexts.

Findings on how the initiatives operate and develop strategies, rationales and ambitions can also trigger a process of reflexivity and learning among other actors involved in urban mobility systems, such as local authorities and larger and more established charities. Similar processes might occur among the organisations that fund the kind of organisations that have been examined. In both instances a change in those actors' practices and modes of operation might ensure.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Transport,Other

 
Description The research has so far generated impacts among a range of different beneficiaries: 1. Organisations, and the individuals associated with them, which offer grassroots initiatives that support cycling and walking to specific and often disadvantaged social groups (e.g. disabled individuals, migrants and refugees, children growing up in poverty, people living in poor and unsafe neighbourhoods) in London and São Paulo 2. Policy makers and transport planners at local/metropolitan levels in London and São Paulo and at the national level in the UK (Department of Transport) 3. Charities in the UK and Brazil that support the organisations under 1, for instance through grants and advice 4. Undergraduate and post-graduate students in programmes in London, Brazil, the Netherlands, the USA and Canada 5. Others, including researchers working for the Dutch government and journalists working in the UK and the Netherlands Among the organizations offering grassroots initiatives that encourage cycling and walking to specific groups in London and São Paulo three types of impact have prevailed: 1. Capacity building in the form of an extension of people's networks of potentially useful contacts. This was primarily achieved through the networking activities around stakeholder workshops, for instance the joint and free lunches and coffee and cake breaks during the 3 London workshops. 2. Learning about good practices from fellow organizations in their own city and from their counterparts in the other city (i.e. London for São Paulo organizations and São Paulo for London organizations). The stakeholder workshops again played a key role in this regard, and testimonials of workshop participants have provided information about what lessons have been learnt. One participant in the London workshops, for instance, had come to realise that initiatives such as those in which they were involved could do more for people with disabilities and other needs, and also that more emphasis should be placed again on "political pressure and lobbying". Participants in the second São Paulo workshop had gained new ideas about how to obtain funding for their initiatives and learnt that organizational culture matters to one's success. The in-depth interviews with research participants also offered moments for cross-organizational learning. Mention of findings from earlier interviews sometimes evoked responses from subsequent participants such as "I had never thought about that way of attaining free bicycles, what a good idea". 3. Reflexivity on the mode of operation of their own organization and the collective of organizations in their city. This was achieved both during and after the in-depth interviews with leaders and staff of organizations that participated in the research and during the stakeholder workshops. Some interviewees expressed their appreciation for how the interviews helped them re-conceptualize, and create new visions for, their respective organizations. One attendee of the final London workshop wrote when reflecting on the differences between London and São Paulo organizations that in London "[w]e are it seems far too fragmented, and also too reliant on public bureaucracies rather than [the] self-help / just do-it" attitude that exists among many São Paulo organizations. Similarly, after the second São Paulo workshop one attendee wrote that they had realised that while the network of organizations was better connected in their city than in London, there was also a need for organizations active in the central parts of São Paulo to engage more with their colleagues in the peripheral areas of their city. Another attendee of that workshop seemed to have developed a different attitude towards expansion, as suggested by their written comment that "growing doesn't mean getting stronger or enhancing our institutional capacity." The responses to the policy brief entitled "Working for Grassroots Walking & Cycling Projects in London: Why and How" indicate that its contents was received well among organizations in London. It seems to have triggered further reflection among their leaders and staff about questions of funding, grant writing and physical locations for their activities. Impacts under groups 2 and 3 above - i.e. policy makers and transport planners as well as charities that support the organizations studied as part of the research - have first of all consisted of greater appreciation for, and deeper understanding of, the activities undertaken by the examined organizations and the specific challenges those organizations face in their day-to-day operations, such as limited financial resources, lack of secure physical space, and the difficulty of finding and retaining suitable staff or volunteers. The findings and suggestions laid down in the policy brief entitled "Working for Grassroots Walking & Cycling Projects in London: Why and How" have been appreciated by the Walking and Cycling Commission in London, Dr William Norman, and have confirmed Transport for London in their recent approach, implemented before the policy brief was published, to extend their Walking and Cycling Grants London scheme for community organizations. His team is likely to consider some of our recommendations in subsequent funding schemes and competitions. In the wake of the publication of the policy brief we discussed the project's findings and proposals about how government agencies can support community groups seeking to promote cycling and walking in March 2020 with staff at the Department for Transport with responsibility for supporting local councils in the development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans and for supporting third-sector organizations that work with community organizations. Our ideas were well received but there has been little follow-up so far because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic did open up a second set of impacts of the research among policymakers and journalists, in particular around questions of how policy-makers and planners could capitalize upon the new momentum walking and cycling gained during England's first lock-down in the spring of 2020 and 'build back better' after the pandemic. Public and policy debates on these matters afforded the principal investigator a series of opportunities to highlight in interactions with policymakers at the Department for Transport and during interviews by journalists that the top-down approach of putting in place of additional temporary ('pop-up') and more durable physical infrastructures such as bike lanes and safe footpaths by local governments is not the only kind of intervention that is important. A more comprehensive approach is needed in which the needs and capabilities of all potential cyclists and pedestrians need to be considered, and in which the bottom-up initiatives undertaken by community organizations studied in the project are enabled through regulation, supported financially and promoted by national and local governments. This is not only because those initiatives can cater to the needs, preferences and understandings of a wide range of potential cyclists and pedestrians, including the most vulnerable ones, in distinctive ways; it is also because, at least in the UK context, those initiatives tend not to generate the resistance in some sectors of the population that some high-profile public policy interventions (e.g. low traffic neighborhood schemes) created over the course of 2020. At least two kinds of impacts under students and others listed as group 5 above can be identified. One is increased awareness and knowledge of the initiatives that have been studied, and particularly what kind of activities they undertake, who benefits from those activities and in what ways, what challenges the organizers face, and the differences in all these aspects between London and São Paulo. The other kind of impact pertains to critical reflection on prevailing policies to encourage cycling and walking in those cities and elsewhere. This reflection has tended to focus on a cluster of questions about who benefits from existing policy, who should benefit from that policy, and how can the needs of specific vulnerable groups be addressed better through public policy. Another cluster of questions revolves around the distribution of responsibilities between the (local) state and civil society and if and how civil society initiatives around the stimulation of cycling and walking can be supported more effectively by the state and others. These are particularly pertinent questions given the prevailing thinking about transport planning in Western Europe in which the (local) state is often seen as central to any form of change and citizens tend to be understood as (non-)adopters and as people whose behavior needs to be changed rather than as active agents that complement the state. As the research project has indicated, these citizens are sometimes more effective than the state in catering to the needs of specific social groups with regard to cycling and walking. In teaching activities, such as the online executive education course 'Global Challenges in Transport: Urban Mobility after COVID-19' offered by the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford, the results from the DEPICT project have been used to encourage new ways of thinking about how cycling and walking can be promoted during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, participants have come to appreciate the need to consider the contribution that community-led initiatives can make to greater uptake of cycling and walking and to pay due attention to the specific needs, preferences and knowledges of different social groups and thus move beyond highly generalized and abstract understandings of what cyclists and pedestrians want and need. The above impacts have been generated through a range of activities, many of which were outlined in the 'Pathways to Impact' document mentioned above. Key to impact generation have been the 5 stakeholders workshops - 3 in London and 2 in São Paulo - that have been organized for individuals associated with the organizations offering grassroots initiatives that encourage cycling and walking in the two cities, representatives of charities that support those organizations and policymakers. These had approximately 80 attendees in total. Other key ways in which impacts have been generated are the policy brief entitled "Working for Grassroots Walking & Cycling Projects in London: Why and How" that was published in 2019; the interviews with leaders, staff and volunteers associated with those organizations and with representatives of charities that support them; presentations by the University of Oxford researchers at events; the trilingual website of the DEPICT project that was coordinated by the Oxford researchers; and their email contact with a selection of the organizations and individuals in the database of 300+ email addresses that has been created over the course of the project. During the COVID-19 pandemic additional impacts have been generated through interactions with senior staff at the Department for Transport, interviews by journalists, and integrating key findings and recommendations developed during the project in the online executive education course 'Global Challenges in Transport: Urban Mobility after COVID-19' offered by the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford in November-December 2020 and again in March 2021 (approx. 40 participants worldwide).
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Programas Regulares / Bolsas / No Exterior / Bolsa Estágio de Pesquisa no Exterior / BEPE - Pós-Doutorado
Amount £23,600 (GBP)
Funding ID 2017/26280-0 
Organisation São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) 
Sector Public
Country Brazil
Start 03/2018 
End 09/2018
 
Description Urban Transformation Workshop: Urban health and wellbeing, Rio de Janeiro
Amount R$ 900 (BRL)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 11/2017
 
Description Urban dialogues: Creating inclusive urban spaces in uncertain global times
Amount £1,000 (GBP)
Funding ID F00004390 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 05/2016
 
Title Designing and policy implementation for encouraging cycling and walking trips, interview transcripts 2016-2017, UK Data Service, SN: 853677 
Description This data collection is comprised of anonymized transcripts of interviews. The research project investigated community-led (i.e. grassroots) walking and cycling organizations that aim to improve walking and cycling for largely marginalized groups in London, UK and São Paulo, Brazil through the development and provision of soft (social) and hard (material) infrastructures. Answers to several questions were sought, such as: what sorts of infrastructures are provided? Who gets involved, and in what capacity? Who benefits from these projects? How do these initiatives embody visions of collective well-being, equity, and justice? Is it possible to upscale or mainstream these initiatives? Interview participants consisted of leaders, staff, and volunteers who create and run grassroots walking and cycling organizations, those who benefit from the infrastructural initiatives, as well as intermediaries who help support the work of the organizations. Interviews were conducted in São Paulo and London in 2016 and 2017. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Not aware of any 
URL https://beta.ukdataservice.ac.uk/datacatalogue/studies/study?id=853677
 
Description Informal collaboration with Regional Governmental Organization 
Organisation City Hall of São Paulo
Department Municipal Secretariat for Green and Environment
Country Brazil 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Stakeholder meetings and policy recommendations.
Collaborator Contribution Participant contact information; suggestions on policy-related research foci.
Impact Workshop
Start Year 2017
 
Description Informal collaboration with funder of grassroots organisations 
Organisation Groundwork
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Stakeholder meetings and policy recommendations
Collaborator Contribution Prospective participant contact information was provided
Impact None
Start Year 2016
 
Description Informal collaboration with regional governmental transport organisation 
Organisation De La Salle University
Department Community Engagement
Country Philippines 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Stakeholder meetings and policy recommendations
Collaborator Contribution Prospective participant contact information was provided
Impact None
Start Year 2016
 
Description 'Global Challenges in Transport: Urban Mobility after COVID-19' online executive education course offered by the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Insights from the DEPICT research project were used to develop one 'case study' within the online executive education course entitled 'Global Challenges in Transport: Urban Mobility after COVID-19' and offered by the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford in November-December 2020 and February-March 2021. The case study used the findings and recommendations from the research to help participants understand how socially just and sustainable change in urban transport can be brought about through the actions of policymakers, businesses and civil society during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In total some 40 professionals (e.g. local and national policy makers, consultants, transport service providers, NGO staff) and PhD students engaged with the case study and as a group reported changes in how they thought about ways in which cycling and walking can be promoted and how concerns over social justice can be attended though in efforts to make urban transport systems more socially and environmentally sustainable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Cities and Mobilities Seminar, University of Amsterdam, 2 February 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The DePICT PI gave a seminar at the University of Amsterdam as part of a lecture series on Cities and Mobilities that was intended for a broad audience consisting of students & academics, as well as policy makers and NGO representatives. He spoke about some of the findings of the projects, after which reflections were offered by an influential advisor of national government. A broad discussion with the audience followed that concentrated on the role of policy in facilitating transitions towards cleaner and more just urban mobility systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://citiesandmobilities.com/2018/02/06/looking-back-at-seminar-4-mobility-transitions-with-tim-s...
 
Description DePICT Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our project website describes the study, reports in events and news, and will be used to disseminate findings and briefings in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL http://www.depictmobilis.org
 
Description ESRC Urban Transformations Programme conference, Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a talk during the "The Good City: Urban Transformation, Comparison, and Value" conference organised by the ESRC's Urban Transformations network and the University of Oxford. He spoke about the need to move beyond the historically emerged over-reliance on 'western' concepts, logics and research & planning practices and the need for new modes of thinking and activity that are differently-global. This means that a different type of scholarship about urban mobility is required, and he explained how some of the work undertaken as part of the DEPICT project fits under that rubric. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session in which the implications of his arguments for thinking about socio-technical transitions were discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description First London stakeholder workshop 
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 The first stakeholder workshop gave UK and London policy makers and walking and cycling third and private sector organisations the opportunity to learn about the project goals and underlying ideas, and help frame research questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description First São Paulo Stakeholder Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The first workshop in São Paulo provided the leaders of community-led organizations, policy makers, representatives from professional associations, and a postgraduate student, the space to learn about our project and preliminary findings from London, and to provide input that helped guide the research in São Paulo.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interviews London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Dialogic discussion of issues evidenced emerging reflexivity among participants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.depictmobilis.org
 
Description Interviews São Paulo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dialogic discussion of issues emerging in evidence; reflexivity among participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.depictmobilis.org
 
Description Invited Talk at the University of São Paulo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Denver Nixon provided an invited talk entitled "A Infraestrutura Popular de Base (Community-Led Infrastructures)", in the Department of Transport Engineering at the University of São Paulo, São Carlos campus The talk was attended by engineering undergraduate and graduate students as well as some faculty members. The audience demonstrated genuine curiosity which led to a fruitful discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited seminar at Utrecht University, the Netherlands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a seminar at the Copernicus Institute at the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, which is one of the leading research groups on questions around sustainability transitions in the world. The seminar focused on the question if and how citizen-led initiatives focused on cycling and walking infrastructures grow or 'scale up' and in what way. A typology of changes in the activities of initiatives and their beneficiaries, which was based on the empirical research conducted in London and Sao Paulo, was presented and the concept of 'upscaling' critiqued. The presentation was well received and led to a lively discussion about the usefulness of deductive models of growth/up-scaling and the question how much complexity should be allowed for in analyses of the (potential) contributions that grassroots initiatives make to broader sustainability transitions dynamics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited talk at Brock University, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Denver Nixon gave an invited talk entitled "Understanding the Relationships Between Wellbeing and Mobility in the Unequal City" for the Department of Geography's seminar series at Brock University. This was followed by a debate over how the concept of wellbeing is best understood in relation to transport and mobility, also how it relates to questions of inequality and justice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at University of Vermont 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Denver Nixon gave an invited talk/lecture entitled, "Actuating and Symbolic Infrastructures: Citizen-led walking and cycling interventions in São Paulo" at the Department of Geography and Department of Global Studies at the University of Vermont that was attended by undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as faculty members. The lecture sparked questions and discussion afterwards and there was increased awareness of the role of civil society in the facilitating of walking and cycling, particularly for socially disadvantaged groups, in Sao Paulo.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at York University (Toronto, Canada) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Denver Nixon gave an invited talk in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto about citizen-led walking and cycling interventions in São Paulo. It was followed by a Q&A session and a lively debate about the distribution of responsibility when it comes to provision of infrastructures for cycling and walking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at the University of Western Ontario, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Denver Nixon gave an invited talk entitled "Exploring the Role of Citizen-Led Walking and Cycling Infrastructural Initiatives in Sustainable and Just Transitions," as part of the University of Western Ontario's Department of Geography's seminar series. The talk was followed by a debate about questions of justice in transport systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture for MSc Transport and City Planning at UCL, 17 November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave an invited lecture to post-graduate students in the MSc in Transport and City Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London on 17 November 2017. The lecture focused on the role of cities in sociotechnical transitions in transport and also covered the initiatives seeking to stimulate cycling and walking in London and Sao Paulo that are studied as part of the DEPICT project. These initiatives were discussed because they demonstrate the possibility of transitions in urban transport not only contributing to greater environmental sustainability but also to greater social and spatial justice. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session with the students who were particularly interested to learn more about the cycling oriented initiatives in London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NECTAR conference keynote lecture, 6 June 2019, Helsinki 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Schwanen gave one of the two keynote lectures at the 15th biannual NECTAR conference, which took place in Helsinki on 5-7 June 2019. Its theme was "To­wards hu­man scale cities - Open and happy". Schwanen's lecture was open to the public and had the title "Urban Mobility, Wellbeing and Inequality: Understanding the Relationships." In it he used empirical material from the DePICT fieldwork in London and Sao Paulo and the conceptualization of wellbeing developed as part of the project in order to make a case for greater consideration being given to structural inequalities in terms of income, wealth, education, health, etc. in research and thinking on the interconnections between transport and wellbeing. The lecture was followed by a discussion with the audience and a panel in which questions of wellbeing and transport planning were further discussed with a planner and an mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) entrepreneur, both from Finland. Audience members and panel members indicates afterwards that the lecture had changed their understanding of the relationships between wellbeing and transport and of the knowledge gaps and priorities in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/towards-human-scale-cities-open-and-happy
 
Description Presentation at annual stakeholder event of Helsinki Regional Transport Authority 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 300 transport planners and transport service operators attended the annual stakeholder event of the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) where Tim Schwanen gave a talk that informed the audience about how transport, and the grassroots initiatives studied in the DePICT project, contribute to individual and communal wellbeing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation to the Strategy Committee of the UK Department of Transport 
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 15-20 people from across the Department for Transport attended a confidential meeting of its strategy committee to think about changes in (national) transport policy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. During the meeting I presented a series of ideas about short-term (during the pandemic), medium-term (first 2 years after) and long-term (more than 2 years after) changes that would help to a) harness some of the positive changes in transport observed during the pandemic, such as more cycling and walking, and b) contribute to sustainable economic recovery in the medium and long term. Some of those ideas were directly based on insights developed during the DEPICT research project. The reception was very positive, with audience members reporting changes in their understanding of what changes might be required. I was also asked to provide a short video (3 minutes) for the Department for Transport's Executive Committee, which brings together its most senior civil servants and is chaired by the Permanent Secretary, on one of the ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description RGS Event on 'City of Tomorrow' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a talk entitled 'City of Tomorrow: Urban mobility' at the City of Tomorrow event organised by the Royal Geographical Society on 24 October 2019. In it I drew attention to the significance and potential effects that the grassroots activities studied as part of the DePICT project can have on changes in urban systems for everyday mobility in cities across the planet. A discussion with the audience and other speakers followed my presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.rgs.org/all/?day=2019-10-24
 
Description Scaling up sustainable innovation: actors, institutions and geographies -- Workshop at University of Oxford, 23 May 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a presentation during this workshop in which she outlined a number of problems with the scaling or upscaling concept that is often used in discourses about sustainable innovations, and he began to outline an alternative, scale-free approach to thinking about the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations in which the notion of repetition plays a key role. He used empirical findings from the DEPICT project to illustrate some of the conceptual points he put forward. The presentation sparked questions and a lively debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the concept of (up)scaling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Second London stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The second stakeholder workshop provided the opportunity for UK and London policy makers and walking and cycling third and private sector organisations, such as Transport for London, and Sustrans, to engage with preliminary findings, and steer subsequent research and engagement. Several feedback exercises performed by the attendees during the workshop produced a number of often overlapping and invaluable suggestions. This included asking them to provide, on paper, the top three preliminary results that they found most useful for their work, three people or organizations that they felt we should target with respect to future engagement activities, and a list of things they wished to know more about from the upcoming research on grassroots initiatives in São Paulo.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Second São Paulo Stakeholder Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The second workshop in São Paulo provided a portion of the attendees at the first meeting, and a couple of additional people, a chance to discuss the products of preliminary analysis and suggest both locally contextual interpretive frameworks and potential beneficiaries of the final research outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description TRAIL Lecture, Delft University of Technology, 23 May 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The PI was invited to give a lecture to the TRAIL research school, the largest inter-university collaborative network of transport research groups in the Netherlands that was attended by 25-30 PhD students, academics and staff of an applied research institute of the national government in the Netherlands. He have a lecture about how the role of cities in transitions towards low-carbon mobility can or should be understood, and used empirical materials from the DEPICT fieldwork in London to elaborate the point that cities need to be understood as spatial formations where innovations in urban transport not only are driven by profit maximisation and the creative destruction processes associated with capitalism but also seek to contribute to a socially and environmentally just urban society where vulnerable social groups are also able to to exercise their right to the city.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Third London stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact 9 professionals working or volunteering for organisations in Greater London and the UK that promote cycling and walking attended the final stakeholder workshop in which the researchers summarised findings from the Sao Paulo fieldwork and contrasted their findings from Sao Paulo with those from London. This triggered a discussion about funding regimes in London and the benefits of greater collaboration among organisations in London and the UK. The participants also offered feedback on a policy brief prepared by the researchers, which they have taken on board in revising their policy brief.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.tsu.ox.ac.uk/news/180918-depict.html
 
Description Transport Legacy of Mega-Events, Rio de Janeiro, 6 November 2017 
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 A one day seminar was co-organised by IPEA and the Transport Studies Unit of the University of Oxford to discuss the legacy of the creation of new public transport infrastructures in the city of Rio de Janeiro. As part of the seminar, the PI on this project gave 45 minute presentation on some of the outcomes of the DePICT project. He sought to draw attention to the role of community organisations and the importance of thinking about justice in relation to transport infrastructure not only in terms of distribution of accessibility and actual trip-making (distributive justice) but also in terms of how infrastructure and the city are created and imagined. His presentation triggered discussion and questions afterwards, and policy makers seemed to have become more interested in community initiatives to improve infrastructure for cycling and walking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.tsu.ox.ac.uk/news/171208-ipeaseminar.html
 
Description UCL and University of Hong Kong workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact tba
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UK Department for Transport Policy School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The PI was invited to give a talk about the relationship between transport infrastructure development and urban regeneration in London during the first day of a 'policy school' for early and mid-career staff at the Department of Transport in which participants had to solve a series of transport problem for a specific area in London. This area was one of the neighbourhoods where the DEPICT's project fieldwork activities were concentrated, meaning that the presentation was an excellent opportunity to share some of the early findings with the participants. It allowed the PI to draw attention to the ways in which conventional infrastructure interventions (e.g. improvement of urban rail services, or the construction of a bus rapid transit system) might marginalise and displace the current population of the area and possibly diminish some or all of the positive effects of the schemes and initiatives studied by the DEPICT project in the area. The discussion after the presentation made it clear that the participants understanding of the social effects of transport infrastructure development in the area had changed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UK-China Workshop City Futures and Contemporary Urban Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a presentation about how transformations in urban transport can be reconceptualised during the UK-China Workshop City Futures and Contemporary Urban Research, which was held at the Kaifeng Humanities and Social Science Library at Tsinghua University on 11-12 July 2018 in Beijing. The event is co-hosted by the Future Cities Network of the University of Oxford and the Kaifeng Foundation. The presentation argued for a post/decolonial approach to thinking about sociotechnical transitions in urban mobility. It brought together conceptual thinking undertaken as part of the PEAK Urban project (for which Schwanen is a Co-I) with conceptual and empirical work as part of the DEPICT project (for which he is PI). It sparked a series of questions afterwards, as well as discussion about how to best develop a decolonial approach to transitions in urban mobility and how attempts to formalise informal transport can best be understood as part of wider transformations in urban mobility.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Utrecht University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact tba
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Yi-Fu Tuan talk at University of Wisconsin, Madison 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Denver Nixon gave an invited talk/lecture for the Yifu Tuan seminar series in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin Madison. The talk was entitled "Citizen-Led Walking and Cycling Infrastructures and Just Transportation Futures". It triggered questions and discussion and the audience demonstrated increased awareness of the role of civil society in the facilitating of walking and cycling, particularly for socially disadvantaged groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description e-learning course on sustainable urban mobility 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave a 15 minute presentation about the link between transport and wellbeing that was informed by the work done for the DePICT project. The presentation was filmed in a study and edited for inclusion in an e-learning course on sustainable urban mobility that is prepared by staff at UCL (Dr Robin Hickman) for the German development agency (GIZ). It will be included in a MOOC-type online course and reach audiences all over the world. No impact is yet observed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019