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Oxford Leadership Programme: Global Challenges in Transport

Oxford Leadership Programme: Global Challenges in Transport

Health, well-being and transport

This course concentrates on the relationships between urban form and design, mobility practices, and physical and mental well-being. Sessions address the links between urban environments and health at a range of spatial scales and in a range of geographical contexts. Particular emphasis will be placed on the potential contribution of walking, cycling and public transport services to healthy cities.

Part of the ‘Global Challenges in Transport’ Oxford Leadership Programme, this course is delivered over four days in the pleasant surroundings of Kellogg College, University of Oxford, with all accommodation and meals provided, including a formal networking dinner on the first night.

Our past speakers (from December 2016 course)

Dr Harry Rutter, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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

Managing competing demands on a busy road network: London’s Roads Task Force

London's road network faces significant challenges over the next 20-30 years, with traffic growth threatening to increase congestion, growing public pressure to reduce road casualties and improve air quality and the desire for more liveable roads and streets.

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

This session will explore how Transport for London has developed a new way of classifying urban roads and streets, capturing the varied and complex roles urban roads play in a city's life.

Prof Glen Lyons, University of the West of England

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. 

Dr David Ogilvie, University of Cambridge

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.

Dr Lynne Mitchell, University of Warwick

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.

Adam Martin, University of East Anglia

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.

Dr Lesley Murray, University of Brighton

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. 

Dr Jennie Middleton, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford


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.

Dr Adrian Davies, University of the West of England

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

Next available dates

5 - 8 December 2017


(Reduced fees available, please enquire)

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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