Night Moves: understanding and shaping transport and mobility at night

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Night Moves: understanding and shaping transport and mobility at night

Symposium Invitation and Call for Papers
Keynote: Amy Lamé, London’s Night Czar

Abstracts (no more than 350 words) by 5th June to

Please join us at the symposium ‘Night Moves,’ which aims to bring together a range of contributors and generate discussions that together map out a framework for understanding 'transport at night' and shaping the research agenda for this area. We are calling for papers that explore issues of transport and mobility in the context of the night time economy (NTE). The symposium acknowledges the growing importance of the NTE in policy, professional practice, and academic research. We propose an initial framework using these themes:

  • Art and culture
  • Accessibility and equity/prosperity
  • Safety and security
  • Health and environment
  • Policy and governance

Woven throughout these themes are approaches from academic theory, applied research, and professional practice, and we welcome contributions from across this spectrum. London and UK cases will also provide a strand through the themes. We welcome presenters as well as interested audience members from research and practice to join the symposium. Attendance is free but places are limited.

Previously a blind spot in many cities, the NTE is emerging as a new frontier in urban life. Amsterdam created the first ‘night mayor’ in 2014 and cities across Europe have followed. London appointed a night czar in 2016 to work with its existing night-time commission. Cities such as Amsterdam are considering special night districts where a full range of services are available 24 hours. The NTE is also seen as central to Amsterdam’s creative economy and startup culture. In the UK, the NTE is part of efforts to regenerate town and city centres. Recent studies estimate London’s NTE at between £17.7bn and £26.3bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2014.

The symposium format will be short presentations in panels of three or four presenters, with an emphasis on group discussion and of implications for the research agenda. We encourage papers that propose mappings for subsections of transport and mobility at night. To facilitate discussion, abstracts will be circulated in advance. We will explore the possibility of gathering material from the event into a publication on current knowledge and proposed research agenda for transport at night.

Proposed abstracts of no more than 350 words should be submitted by 5th June 2017 to .Proposals will be peer reviewed for an acceptance decision by 30th June 2017. See below for suggested types of issues presenters may want to address (listed items are suggestions and not exhaustive).

Please direct any comments or questions to Dr. Ann Thorpe at UCL’s Transport Institute Ann (dot) Thorpe (at) ucl (dot) ac (dot) uk. [Image Credit: Lars Plougmann, Creative Commons License]

Possibly topics for Night Moves Symposium

1. Safety and security

  • Day/night variation in crime by transport modes; Effects of night transport on crime
  • The ‘gig’ economy (Uber, Deliveroo etc) risks to growing numbers who drive/ride under pressure at night delivering goods and services
  • Driving behaviour at night given day/night variation in car use and function (recreation, commute, passenger types) and fatigue
  • How safe do people feel travelling at night, does it vary by mode and why?
  • Emergency response (e.g. flooding) preparedness for night time scenarios

2. Art/Culture

  • How does NTE connect us to history and heritage of places, for example through representation of transport at night in film, photography or literature?
  • Creative or startup culture intersection with transport at night
  • Citizen participation in transport at night – what people can contribute – e.g. through citizen science to tag images, map activity, etc.
  • Cultural and ecological relationship with darkness and travel (speed, senses, emotion)

3. Health

  • Injuries at night (injury related to transport, health services related to transport)
  • Night transport and work—circadian rhythm
  • Transport effects on air quality at night
  • Alcohol related effects for transport in scenarios of increasing consumption.
  • Noise from transport as a risk to wellbeing for people living in 24/7 cities

4. Accessibility

  • What are the current demographics of transport at night, journey purposes, and how do we anticipate this evolving?
  • Where are the ‘weak links’ in intracity and intercity transport services, for example in terms of the last mile home at night or getting to and from work?
  • Are some people excluded from travelling at night for example because of excess cost or lack of mobility support services?
  • Navigating at night: landmarks, more or less reliance on digital tools

6. Environment

  • Assuming increases in transport with the growth of NTE, what will be the impacts of noise and light pollution from transport?
  • Will the NTE lead to greater transport energy consumption for lighting, propulsion?
  • Do transport pollutants have different effects at night?
  • Challenges associated with reducing night airline flights to protect climate

7. Policy and governance

  • What are the manifestations of policy blind spots around the NTE in transport terms?
  • To what extent do Night Czars, Night Mayors, transport commissioners take into account the role of transport and its contribution to the night time economy?
  • How do policy makers consider the role of night transport in terms of public impacts?
  • To what extent is the provision of 24/7 transport a cause of political dispute?

8. Equity/Prosperity

  • How does night travel benefit or cost various groups? For example socioeconomic groups, ethnicities, geographically based groups, rough sleepers, or genders
  • What role does transport have in contributing to the economy in terms of employment, services, and capital? [e.g. freight, storage, creative, healthcare, leisure, etc.]
  • Effects of ‘same day’ or ‘just in time’ delivery on night time transport dynamics
  • Conflicts between freight/shipping and human and environmental interests?
  • How much additional transport will be needed to support a ‘full’ NTE or ’24-hour’ city?
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