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Oxford Leadership Programme: Global Challenges in Transport

Oxford Leadership Programme: Global Challenges in Transport

Health, Well-Being and Urban Mobility

Rapidly growing urban populations require creative urban design strategies to address the growing complexities around health, well-being and mobility for all citizens.

This programme concentrates on the relationships between urban form and design, mobility practices, and physical and mental well-being. Sessions address the historical and future links between urban environments and health within a range of spatial scales and geographical contexts with particular emphasis on issues of social equity, sustainable access to services and the contribution of walking, cycling and public transport to healthy cities.

More specifically, leading experts propose solutions to challenges around accessibility to health care, sustainable travel, engaging communities in urban redesign through training and funding, initiating active schemes, and planning sustainable transport for older people and independent children’s mobility. 

The Oxford Leadership Programme on Global Transport Challenges is comprised of 4 individual programmes. Each programme is delivered over 4 days in the pleasant surroundings of Kellogg College, University of Oxford, with all accommodation and meals provided including a Welcome Lunch on arrival, and a formal networking dinner on the first night. 


Faculty and session outlines

Active Travel, Climate Change and Health
This session considers active travel as a means to identify mechanisms through which the sectors of transport and health can collaborate in order to contribute to tackling major threats to human health and wellbeing.

Ben Plowden, Transport for London

London's road network faces significant challenges over the next 20-30 years. Traffic growth associated with rising population and employment threatens to increase congestion and undermine the benefits of the recent reduction in car use. Meanwhile, there is growing public pressure for further reductions in road casualties, improvement in local air quality and the creation of more liveable roads and streets.

Meeting these demands, while continuing to upgrade the state of London's road assets, is a classic "wicked" problem  - one with multiple stakeholders, competing priorities and no obvious right answer.

This session will explore how Transport for London, working with the Mayor of London's Roads Task Force, has developed a new way of classifying urban roads and streets. The classification captures the varied and complex roles urban roads play in a city's life and will underpin future investment and operational priorities for London's roads. The work of the Roads Task Force provides a model for other major cities, both in terms of stakeholder engagement and in defining how to manage competing demands on a busy road network.

Travelling as a passenger: A gift of time or a burden?
This session questions whether traditional notions of speed and reliability in relation to getting from A to B are any longer the imperatives they once were. Travel experiences are engaged with in relation to how a wellbeing perspective may play into the marketing of public transport provision. 
Active travel, physical activity and public health: A research perspective
A critical evaluation of  the evidence for the effects of environmental and policy changes to promote active travel from a public health perspective. More specifically, this session reflects on the nature and strength of the available evidence and what further research may be required to underpin evidence-based policymaking and effective intervention strategies.
Where am I? How urban design impacts on the mobility of older people with dementia
This session examines how older people with dementia use, experience and navigate their local streets and open spaces and discusses ways in which the public realm can be designed to be more dementia friendly.
Economic growth, health, wellbeing and happiness: Can transport spending deliver all this?
The possible impacts of incorporating wellbeing into transport decision-making processes are considered in this session. Challenges such as how to best measure wellbeing, whose wellbeing should be prioritised and possible conflicts between wellbeing and existing economic objectives such as reducing journey times are discussed in the context of further substantial budget reductions at the Department for Transport.

Dr Tim Jones, Oxford Brooks University

Velomobility for Healthy Aging

This session explores the potential role of urban cycling mobility for health and wellbeing particularly in the context of discourse on ageing populations and the need to create more liveable cities. Drawing on recent studies on cycling it demonstrates why urban cycling, as it is currently constituted in the UK, appeals to a narrow demographic. It goes on to highlight how cities could be shaped to support a democratic landscape for cycling, and in so doing, produce active ageing as part of everyday activity.

Children's Independent Mobility
This session considers the extent to which quantitative research on children's independence provides a full account of changes in children's mobile lives. More broadly issues of mobility and wellbeing that may be the consequence of societal attitudes to children's mobility are also examined. 
Much policy discussion assumes that walking is a homogeneous and largely self-evident means of getting from one place to another. In contrast, this session draws upon research that critically explores the complexity of pedestrian movement. Discussion focuses on questions concerning the many different types, forms and characteristics of pedestrian movement, and the social dimensions of moving on foot.
Public Health and Transport Collaboration: The Bristol model
Insights, learnings and the challenges of applying a public health approach are explored in this session, including the meaning of evidence, the use of economics, translational research and a range of other tools to help advocate for transport policies and practice that deliver improved outcomes, especially for those most disadvantaged. 


Key information

Course length

Four days
Tuesday - Friday


8 - 11 December 2015


(accommodation included)

Join the Programme
A participant's view


'The diversity of the participants and presenters (which included researchers, various levels of transport officials and people from NGOs) was invaluable and enabled us to cover complex issues from fascinating angles.'

Yannick Cornet, Sustainable Transport Planning Researcher, Technical University of Denmark

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