Chapter 10 – Challenges for Transport Geography

Transport geography seeks to understand the spatial organization of mobility. It has emerged as a full-fledged field within geography with a strong propensity to include concepts and methods from other disciplines such as economics, engineering, environmental sciences, and sociology. Because transportation systems are involved in various scales and modes, from local public transit to global maritime shipping, it tends to be partitioned. It is challenging to reconcile perspectives such as pedestrian mobility issues or the selection of air cargo hubs by a freight forwarder. Multidisciplinary approaches remain at the core of transport geography simply because its modes are at the same time independent but interconnected at different scales. Irrespective of the scale and the mode, transport geography shares several common issues and challenges.

Transportation is growing in significance and changing in the face of challenges and drivers of change, such as sustainability, congestion, governance, and technology. As the transport industry becomes more complex, conventional approaches, focusing on a narrow range of factors, have to be replaced by more nuanced analysis and solutions. Further, issues related to freight mobility are assuming greater importance within the discipline in part driven by the setting of global supply chains and the growth of urban freight distribution. In the transport industry, in public planning, and in research institutions, the scope for transport geography remains diverse. The same forces will likely shape future transportation systems than in the past, but it remains to be seen which technologies will prevail and their impacts on the spatial structure.


10.1 – Improving Transport Infrastructure

10.2 – Governance and Management

10.3 – Social and Environmental Responsibility

10.4 – Future Transportation Systems