Category: Cities

Longer distance cycling – ATS special issue call for abstracts

Longer distance cycling – ATS special issue call for abstracts

ACTIVE TRAVEL STUDIES: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Special issue – Longer distance cycling: roles, requirements and impacts

Guest editors

Professor John Parkin (University of the West of England, UK)
Dr Anders Fjendbo Jensen (Technical University of Denmark)

The bicycle is increasingly seen by many cities as a solution that provides efficient and effective urban mobility, and at the same time reduces the negative environmental consequences of motorized transport. Research on cyclists’ behaviour often focuses on everyday cycle trips of shorter lengths. By contrast, this call focuses on longer length trips.

While shorter distances are more common, there are indications of a potential for modal shift to bicycle for longer trips if they are facilitated by good quality cycle infrastructure separated from other modes. Longer distance cycleways are beginning to be built between settlements in some places, and provide continuous, attractive and comfortable routes where progress can be rapid and uninterrupted. Such longer distance routes can benefit everyday cycling, and can attract travellers who would have otherwise used a car.

The development and increasing use of e-bikes is also a significant potential contributor to more longer distance cycling. The increasing availability of other types of cycle, for example non-conventional cycles including recumbents, may be a factor in being able to cycle longer distances.

While the combination of longer distance good quality infrastructure and e-bikes could act as an encouragement for some, the combination of the two may not be attractive to others. Overall the special issue is interested in the potential contribution of longer distance cycling and its implications, good and bad. On the positive side, there may be gains in accessibility and inclusion; on the negative, longer distance cycling may deter shorter (slower) cycling trips and/or stand in tension with the concept of the 15-minute city.

This special issue will cover the following areas:

  • Funding and public policy, and other policy relating to the support of longer distance cycling, for example, employers’ policies. 
  • The design and construction of infrastructure, and the value of technology, such as e-bike development and use.
  • Implementation strategies, such as communications and social marketing, used to promote everyday longer distance cycling. 
  • The extent to which longer distance everyday cycling is inclusive and attractive. 
  • The extent to which longer distance cycling for business can serve last-mile and other delivery/servicing needs 
  • Cycle logistics business models for longer distance deliveries, and the experiences of those working in the cycle logistics industry.
  • The way in which longer distance cycleways support trip making behaviour for everyday and regular trip making.
  • Equity and equality issues relating to those attracted to longer distance cycling and those who are not attracted to it, and the way this is affected when specific cycling infrastructure is provided.
  • The choices available to people who cycle longer distance, including the value of the option of multi-modality as part of longer distance cycle trips.
  • Case studies and intervention studies. 
  • Analysis of the impacts of longer distance cycling both socio-economically and on the environment (e.g. carbon reduction, air quality, noise and severance). 
  • Emerging practices of longer distance cycling, for different purposes and in different contexts. 
  • We are interested in papers from all parts of the world. The call is not primarily intended to cover longer distance cycling in relation to leisure or tourism but we are open to submissions that address longer distance cycling for business (e.g. couriers or freight).

Timescales and practicalities:

Please submit abstracts (400-600 words) at https://activetravelstudies.org/about/submissions. You will first need to register at https://activetravelstudies.org/register 
Deadline: 16th November 2020.

Authors will hear from the editors encouraging a full submission or providing feedback by 14th December 2020.

Full submissions to be made by 31st March 2021. These will be peer reviewed. ATS submission categories include: research articles, commentaries, reviews, debates and interviews.

Provisional publication date of issue: from June 2021.

ATS is a peer-reviewed open access journal and no fees will be charged to contributors to this special issue.

‘Active Travel Studies’ journal open for submissions.

‘Active Travel Studies’ journal open for submissions.

Active Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal launched today for submissions a venture based at the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy. Editors Tom Cohen and Rachel Aldred here discuss the thinking behind the journal and outline below the range of published material to be expected and context of current debates on active travel in 2020.

Active Travel Studies will provide researchers with a natural home for new findings on all aspects of active travel, including but not limited to walking and cycling. As an open-access journal, charging no fees to either authors or readers, it will reduce barriers between those who are producing knowledge on active travel and those who wish to benefit from it.

‘We’re very excited about the journal,’ explains its editor, Dr Tom Cohen. ‘It marks an opportunity for research on active travel to reach a wider audience and to do so without the delay common in academic publishing. The journal will welcome a range of submissions (debates, reviews and interviews, as well as more familiar research articles) and we plan to allow multi-media output as well as more conventional formats.’

‘Another way in which we hope to differ from many journals is in remaining approachable – we welcome the opportunity to discuss with authors their ideas concerning possible submissions. But this will not be at the expense of academic rigour: all submissions will be subject to peer review.’

The journal is launching at what may be an auspicious time, as COVID-19 has provoked both a sharp increase in active travel and heated debate about whether and how that increase can be made permanent. As Cohen puts it, ‘our hope is that the journal can provide sound evidence to inform both this policy transition and others in the future.’

About the Journal

Active Travel Studies is a new, peer-reviewed, open-access journal intended to provide a source of authoritative research on walking, cycling and other forms of active travel. In the context of a climate emergency, widespread health problems associated with inactivity, and poor air quality caused in large part by fossil-fuel transport, the journal is relevant and timely. It will perform the critical function of providing practitioners and policy makers with access to current and robust findings on all subjects relevant to active travel.

We live in times of climate crisis, with illegal levels of air pollution in many cities worldwide, and what has been called an epidemic of physical inactivity. Technological change alone will not solve such problems: we also need major growth in active travel (primarily walking and cycling, but also other active and semi-active types of travel, such as scooters) to replace many shorter car trips. Active modes could even (e.g. through electric assist trikes) help make urban freight much more sustainable. Journals within many fields cover active travel, but literature remains highly segmented and (despite high levels of policy interest) difficult for practitioners to find. Established, mainstream journals are not open access, another barrier to policy transfer and knowledge exchange. Thus, while many towns, cities, and countries seek to increase active travel, the knowledge base suffers from a lack of high-quality academic evidence that is easy to find and obtain. This reinforces practitioner reliance on often lower-quality grey literature, and a culture of relying on ad hoc case studies in policy and practice. This journal provides a bridge between academia and practice, based on high academic standards and accessibility to practitioners. Its remit is to share knowledge from any academic discipline/s (from bioscience to anthropology) that can help build knowledge to support active travel and help remove barriers to it, such as car dependency. Within this normative orientation, it is rigorously academic and critical, for instance not shying away from analysing examples where interventions do not lead to more active travel. It goes beyond immediate policy imperatives to share knowledge that while not immediately change-oriented can contribute to a deeper understanding of, for instance, why people drive rather than walk. As well as publishing relevant new research, the journal commissions both commentary pieces on such research, and critical reviews of the existing literature. Reflecting the diversity of its audience, its content is varied, including written work of different lengths as well as audio-visual material.

For more information on submissions see the journal page ‘About’ and drop down menu for information on editorial team, editorial policies and submissions.

TOUCH makes three

TOUCH makes three

The Law and the Senses series has now reached out to three of the five canonical senses with the publication of TOUCH, after SEE and TASTE. The series comes from the University of Westminster’s Law and Theory Lab.

Contributions in TOUCH consider many themes including brass rubbing, the layers of urban history and touch; a contract with nature unfolded via touch; desire, touch and a kind of vertical leap of consciousness that gazes on an object of knowledge in literary thought; brain stimulation within certain psychiatric regimes; and the illicit touch of books bound in human skin and narratives surrounding Auschwitz victims’ tattoos. Erin Manning’s consideration of synaesthesia and other ways of knowing develops the idea of ‘distantism’ at the heart of accounts of body-world separation.

In her introduction Caterina Nirta also reflects on why touch is the ‘essential’ sense according to Aristotle and others and the ‘tactful intrusions of the law and the untactful movement of touch’.

CONTENTS

Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman

Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman

UWP launched a brand new journal today, now open for submissions.

Editors David Chandler, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and Jane Lewis of the University of Westminster explain the background and their thinking that led to its creation:

Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman’ seeks to explore the implications of the Anthropocene from the perspectives of the social and life sciences, arts and humanities. We see the Anthropocene as an invitation to think differently about ways of being in the world and how we operate within, across and beyond our disciplinary framings. We take inspiration from Val Plumwood’s view that the Anthropocene poses the question: ‘Is it to be a posture of openness, of welcoming, of invitation, toward earth others, or is it to be a stance of prejudged superiority, of deafness, of closure?’ At present we feel that there is too little invitation: work on the Anthropocene often seems divided between climate scientists working along technical and managerial lines and, what can come across as, fairly aloof and abstract philosophical approaches. We seek to work to expand the area of Anthropocene work which can often be obscured by this divide; working out from the middle as it were.

For us, the Anthropocene poses questions that go far beyond narrow technical or governmental concerns of how to address issues such as climate change and global warming. While some contributors may, no doubt, be concerned with preventing, slowing or opposing the Anthropocene as a future to come, we hope that others will provide a critical, constructive and exploratory focus upon what it means to live within the Anthropocene as a time in which the certainties of the modernist world are becoming undone. Our desire is that this journal will pursue the open-ended and future-oriented invitations of the Anthropocene through building new cross-disciplinary research communities, facilitated through publishing in an open access format available to all.

We feel that the time is right to establish a world-leading interdisciplinary journal placing the University of Westminster at the centre of contemporary conceptual debates and practices. Drawing upon our unique strengths across diverse fields from the arts and media to the human sciences, via law, architecture and politics, Anthropocenes will engage and work with leading and upcoming international academics and practitioners looking for an interdisciplinary outlet and keen to develop and initiate debate through traditional and non-traditional forms of publication including visual and audio links.’

Tourism in London: Ever more ‘pivotal and pervasive’.

Tourism in London: Ever more ‘pivotal and pervasive’.

In this extract from the introduction to our latest title editor Andrew Smith outlines the increasing presence and significance of London’s tourism.

Available to read or download open access Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy was published on the 21st May and is an initiative of the Tourism and Events Research Group of the University of Westminster. (The complete referenced version of the introduction is available on its own here).

‘London hosts a very significant visitor economy and overnight visitors contribute approximately £14.9 billion of expenditure to the city every year. When the city hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 the UK’s capital was already a leading global destination, but staging this mega-event instigated a new period of growth. In the period 2011-2016 tourism numbers increased by 25% and over the past few years the city has experienced a series of record years for arrivals. Despite already being one of the three most visited cities in the world – hosting 31.2 million overnight visitors in 2016 – city officials expect visitor arrivals to increase further: to over 40 million overnight visitors by 2025. Put simply, tourism is already a very significant economic and social phenomenon in London, but over the next few decades it will become even more pivotal and pervasive. 

London’s status as one of the world’s most visited destinations is not universally welcomed. At the moment there is considerable media and academic attention dedicated to the problem of rapid tourism growth and what has become known as over-tourism. This coverage has focused on various European capitals: from Berlin to Barcelona, Ljubljana to Lisbon. Even though the UK’s capital city seems like the ideal case through which to explore the ways that destinations evolve and expand, there has been surprisingly little attention devoted to London in these debates. This book explores how and why tourism is growing in Europe’s most popular city destination; and what benefits and problems accrue from expanding the tourism sector in a city already hosting 19 million overseas tourists and 12 million overnight domestic visitors every year. These additional people mean London’s population grows considerably every day, especially when one considers the 300,000 people that commute daily to the capital from outside Greater London and the daily influx of 750,000 non staying visitors. London hosts a residential population of around 8.8 million people, but its ‘daytime’ population – i.e. that which includes workers, visitors and tourists is estimated to be over well over 10 million. Tourists and day visitors now make up over 10% of London’s daytime population.

The book analyses how and why the expansion of the visitor economy is happening; and what effect this is having on the city. Contributions from various authors demonstrate how Destination London is developing through the extension of tourism into new spaces and new spheres. The book outlines how parts of London not previously regarded as tourism territories – e.g. residential suburbs, peripheral parks and private homes – are now subject to the tourist gaze. Tourists are being encouraged to visit places outside the centre and stay in accommodation owned by residents. In a similar manner, London is constantly creating new eventscapes to capitalise on the experience economy and providing reasons to visit at different times – in winter and at night. These types of initiatives feature prominently in London’s new ‘Tourism Vision’, which explicitly outlines the city’s aim to grow tourism ‘by encouraging visitors to explore the city’s outer districts, both in and out of season and around the clock’ .

Contemporary expansion is being facilitated by extending the capacity of existing services (e.g. by running the Underground 24 hrs a day), and by building new infrastructure (e.g. the new Crossrail network and a new runway at Heathrow Airport) and accommodation provision (plans for 23,000 new hotel rooms by 2025). However, growth in the visitor economy is driven more by market and cultural trends than any deliberate planning and policy; and this unfettered growth is likely to outrun formal provision. The rise of social media and the sharing economy, and the desire for new, distinctive and personalised experiences, are pushing tourists into peripheral locations, but also advancing tourism into spheres not normally considered tourism territory.  Growth is likely to be enabled and absorbed by unofficial tourism providers including London’s residents who now provide a range of services: most obviously accommodation, but also food, travel, and guiding. This book explores these trends and, in doing so, highlights the mechanisms and processes that are driving the expansion of the visitor economy. The discussion enhances understanding of London, but it also helps us to better appreciate the ways that tourism in cities is expanding into new spaces, times and spheres’. 

Event to mark launch of Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy

Event to mark launch of Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy

Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy will be published and launched on the 22nd of May at 18.00, the Boardroom, University of Westminster 309 Regent Street London W1B 2HW.

This book provides a fascinating account of tourism development in London, one of the world’s most visited destinations and a place where the visitor economy has grown in recent years. It explores how tourism has extended into new areas beyond the city centre, but also how it has expanded into new spheres (e.g. private homes) and new time periods (winter, and the night). A collaboration between University of Westminster staff members, drawing on their strengths in the fields of city tourism, sustainable tourism, air transport and the night time economy, and their unique position in the School of Architecture and Cities with particular focus on tourism and events.

For full details and signing up see eventbrite.