Review of Spring Conference 2014 by Rebecca Williams, Red Maid’s School

‘Modelling Urban Transport’ by George Lunt, AECOM (Associate Director, Bristol Office)
‘Collective Mobility’ by Prof Graham Parkhurst (UWE, Centre for Transport Studies)
‘Student Start-ups and Sustainable Transport’ by Sam Harris (Basecamp, University of Bristol and pedalpowertransport)
‘Urban transport and Sustrans’ by Ian Barrett (SW Regional Director, Sustrans)

Review for the Bristol Branch of the Geography Association Spring Conference 2014: Urban Traffic Solutions on 5th February 2014 by Rebecca Williams Year 13 Red Maid’s School, Bristol.

Speakers at GA Conference on Urban Traffic solutions (L-R: Sam Harris, Univ. Bristol;  Prof. Graham Parkhurst, UWE;  George Lunt, AECOM;  Ian Barrett, Sustrans)

Speakers at GA Conference on Urban Traffic solutions (L-R: Sam Harris, Univ. Bristol; Prof. Graham Parkhurst, UWE; George Lunt, AECOM; Ian Barrett, Sustrans)


A couple of days ago, students from all over Bristol went to a lecture on ‘Urban Traffic Solutions’. The four talks we listened to, aimed at driven geographers, zoomed in on four different but nevertheless interrelated sustainable transport issues. We were started off by a brilliant talk on different types of modelling. This modelling included Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to wide and local area models. These help us to understand current conditions, which will overall improve transport provision and ultimately help create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.
Transport modelling at the micro-scale (image courtesy of AECOM)

Transport modelling at the micro-scale (image courtesy of AECOM)

In the city of Bristol we were shocked to realize that a trip of two to five miles was only completed by 5% of the population on foot. This shows us how serious an issue urban transport can cause. With so many people choosing to use cars to move about as their preferred method of transport it has come greatly to our attention how much of an impact it is having upon the environment. We were told that not only is there noise and air pollution associated with so large an amount of carbon emissions; but as a greater consequence this is contributing greatly to climate change. This was concluded by showing us some fairly amusing images of just a few plans for the future to cut down on emissions to reach the desired objective by 2050. Some of these included Fuel Cell Hybrid’s which use hydrogen fuel and electric cars.

Prof. Graham Parkhurst (UWE Centre for Transport Studies) fielding questions at the break

Prof. Graham Parkhurst (UWE Centre for Transport Studies) fielding questions at the break

We were introduced to future plans of upcoming enterprises and new strategies to overcome urban traffic; which was a very exciting and promising prospect for our city. These talks were very thought-provoking and made us all engage well because it is so relevant to the sustainability of our city; and made certainly myself question, how could I get around more sustainably than at current?

School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol.

Posted in Lectures