Dear colleagues,

The IGU Transport & Geography Commission is delighted to announce four 
special sessions to be held within the next IGU Regional Conference 
(Quebec City, 6-10 August 2018):

- Big data for mobilities studies: Applications and critical perspectives

- Relationships between airline networks, distance and technological change

- Effects of transport investment on regeneration and social inclusion

- Impacts of High Speed Rail

Please see details and submission process below. Please also note our 
Commission's specific deadline is 15 Feb 2018.

Looking forward to seeing you in Quebec City.

Kind regards,

Fred (Secretary)


*** 2018 International Geographical Union Regional Conference
*** Quebec City 6-10 August

*** IGU Commission on Transport & Geography - Session Themes

** 1. Big data for mobilities studies: Applications and critical 
Ana Condeco Melhorado [log in to unmask]

The quantity and variety of Big Data have been increasing in recent 
years due to a network of sensors and portables, but also due to the use 
of Internet and social networks. This information is generated at great 
velocity which enables the study of dynamic processes in almost “real 
time”. In the technological era, human activity leaves a digital trace 
and frequently this trace is geolocalized. Some examples are the use of 
GPS for navigation, the activity/signal registered by our smartphones, 
the use of transport intelligent cards, bike renting systems, the use of 
credit cards or social networks.
These new sources of data are very useful for studying mobility patterns 
and improving transport planning. Therefore, we can estimate transit 
travel times using the API of Google Maps or TomTom data, or we can 
calculate origin and destination matrices using the activity recorded by 
our smartphones or transport intelligent cards. Traffic flows can be 
estimated using mobile phone data or using the video cameras to count 
cars or citizens in a street. Furthermore, public bicycle parking spots 
can be used to study their origin and destination flows and car parking 
data is useful to observe the number of cars parked in different 
locations. On the other hand, social networks are a valuable source of 
data for mobility pattern analysis, but also, we can look into 
qualitative aspects related with mobility by using semantic intelligence 
Big Data also raises the issue of both its technical and scientific 
limits. There is a big challenge in knowing the biases' magnitude 
associated with Big Data. Knowing what or who is covered depends on the 
source of data and whether it is representative of different social 
groups and different kinds of mobilities.​ Therefore within this session 
there will be room to also debate about data quality, potential biases 
(e.g., related to the use of data obtained from a single phone provider, 
use of social networks etc.) and various data restrictions.

** 2. Relationships between airline networks, distance and technological 
Frederic Dobruszkes [log in to unmask]

The geography of airline networks can be understood as shaped by 
numerous factors including economic patterns, migration patterns, 
regulatory regimes, strategies pursued by airlines, intermodal 
competition, various kinds of incentives, distances involved and 
technological changes related to aircraft. Surprisingly, the latter two 
have not received so much attention apart from books on the airline 
business and its impacts on economic geography and from authors who have 
investigated network concentration/dispersion notably in regards to 
aircraft distance range.
As a result, this special session intends to improve knowledge of the 
relationships among airline networks, the role of distance and 
technological change.

Potential topics may include (non-exhaustive list):
- How much the increased number and variety of ultra-long-haul aircraft 
(i.e. capable of flying twelve hours nonstop) have affected the 
geography ultra-long-haul routes?
- Bypassed? The risk of longer distance ranges for existing hubs
- The use of aviation for ultra-short trips
- New potential routes following the introduction of extended-range 
single-aisle planes
- Do air services weaken or reinforce centre-periphery structures?
- The development of places most dependent on long-haul air services 
(e.g., specific tourist places and several African cities)
- The use of higher capacity planes on shorter routes
- Has the A380 affected airline networks?
- Shorter vs. cheaper: Investigating the magnitude of detours imposed by 
the Middle-East hubs
- Do low-cost airlines threaten longer high-speed rail services (or vice 
- Etc.

** 3. Effects of transport investment on regeneration and social inclusion
Richard Knowles [log in to unmask]
& Chia-Lin Chen [log in to unmask]
& Wojciech Kębłowski [log in to unmask]

As captured by the notion of 'splintering urbanism', networked transport 
infrastructure tends to prioritise major economic centres at the expense 
of bypassed territories. It is in the latter that the challenge of 
growing demand for mobility is exacerbated by increasing territorial 
inequality, social exclusion and transport poverty—all these issues do 
not appear to be addressed head-on by transport policies. These aspects 
are especially important when market forces do not appear to be a 
sufficient factor in terms of improving transport accessibility in 
disadvantaged areas. Furthermore, transport in itself does not appear to 
have the power to automatically ensure wider inclusion effects, and 
therefore supporting strategies are needed to exploit the opportunity 
enhanced transport connectivity might bring.
The extent to which the social and regeneration needs are taken into 
account varies among different national and urban contexts. The use of 
conventional cost-benefit analysis (CBA) approaches in transport 
decision making has generated important issues concerning redistribution 
and social justice, social inclusion and transformation effects in 
transport. CBA has hence been the subject of growing criticism from the 
1970s onwards, to which additional impetus was added in the last five 
years. However important social and regeneration effects of transport 
and mobility can be, they are often difficult to be quantified and 
captured in mainstream transport appraisals. Furthermore, there has been 
a paucity of theoretical and empirical studies which are available to 
probe into the relationship between investment in transport and mobility 
and social and regeneration effects.
Consequently, we argue that transport-related decision-making should 
ultimately be considered as inherently political, rather than a 
supposedly technical and “rational” exercise relying on appraisal 
techniques and modelling practices. Thus, this special session invites 
contributions that while exploring the growing societal relevance of 
investment in transport and mobility, reach past questions regarding 
transport capacity and efficiency. We welcome work that provides new 
theoretical insights into developing critical perspectives on social 
inclusion and regeneration effects of transport investments, as well as 
empirical evidence from actually existing transport policies and projects.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Exploring the nature of decision making in investment of transport and 
mobility beyond rational exercises, and incorporating political, 
psychological, and philosophical dimensions.
- Exploring the nature of social and regeneration effects from 
investment in transport and mobility.
- Innovative methods of measuring non­-quantifiable social and 
regeneration effects in transport-related appraisal.
- Innovations in transport-related policy, initiatives, participatory 
mechanisms and institutional governance in addressing social and 
regeneration effects.
- A deeper understanding of the transformational process through 
investment in transport and mobility for social and regeneration effects 
for disadvantaged areas.
- Critical perspectives on alternative transport appraisal frameworks 
that embrace priorities against societal goals such as accessibility, 
social inclusion, redistribution, equity, regeneration.

** 4. Impacts of High Speed Rail
Andrew Goetz [log in to unmask]
& Chia-Lin Chen [log in to unmask]

High-speed rail (HSR) systems continue to expand around the world, 
resulting in significant geographical impacts with regard to 
accessibility, connectivity, intermodal competition, urban form, and 
regional development, among many other aspects.   Since the first HSR 
line opened between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964, lines have been built in 
Japan, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, 
United Kingdom, Turkey, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. According to the 
Union of International Railways (UIC), more than 37,000 kilometers (kms) 
of HSR lines are in operation worldwide today with another 16,000 kms 
under construction. China has by far the largest network with nearly 
24,000 kms in operation, over 10,000 kms under construction and over 
1200 kms planned.  Japan has over 3000 kms in operation, while Spain and 
France each have over 2000 kms currently in operation with lines under 
construction or planned that would bring their totals to over 4000 kms 
each.  Other countries each have less than 2000 kms in operation, 
although both Germany and Turkey have lines under construction or 
planned that would bring their networks to over 2000 kms.  India, 
Russia, and Thailand each have plans to develop HSR systems of over 2000 
kms.  Canada, the host country for IGU 2018, is planning a HSR line 
between Toronto and London, Ontario with a western extension to Windsor, 
and a possible eastern extension to Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.

This session invites papers that interrogate the geographical impacts of 
operational or planned high-speed rail systems throughout the world.  
Potential topics may include:
- Time-space convergence/divergence and HSR lines
- Accessibility, connectivity, and HSR network analysis
- Intermodal competition
- Planning issues in new HSR development
- Urban form and HSR
- Station area development
- Regional economic development
- Environmental impacts
- Other geographical impacts of HSR

** Submission Procedure
Please send your abstract (max 250 words, including the object of study, 
research problem, methods, and conclusions), authors’ affiliation and 
contact details to the targeted session’s convener(s) by 15 February 2018.
We will notify contributors of acceptance as they went along and by 22 
February 2018 for last submissions.

Accepted contributors will then need to submit their abstract to the 
conference by 15 March 2018 at 11:59 pm EST through .

This step involves to first pay conference fees (see pricelist at ).