Imperial College to Re-Calibrate Travel Time

Imperial College to Re-Calibrate Travel Time

As mobility experience is increasingly determined not only by duration or monetary cost of travel, new cultures of work have emerged, especially strong among knowledge workers, that exploit non-traditional settings, including public spaces and transport modes, with the aim of improving productivity and well-being by the better alignment of tasks to productive times and spaces.

USL in partnership with Cisco CREATE and Transport for Greater Manchester will soon be announcing an interdisciplinary 3.5-year ICASE PhD studentship to explore productivity and well-being impacts of digital technologies on workers in mobile settings.

Urban Systems Lab (USL) at Imperial College is the latest partner to join the TravelSpirit movement.

USL is a multi-disciplinary research cluster, covering a wide range of techniques and approaches; aimed at re-aligning and re-focusing world-leading academic creativity to address the urgent problems of cities.

Led by the USL Director, Professor John Polak, researchers from the USL have been involved in a number of pioneering research activities, including those surrounding the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

Some specific examples of USL’s work include development of new analysis techniques for understanding:

By joining the TravelSpirit movement, researchers from USL expect to contribute with new and critical insights into development of MaaS while also interacting with stakeholders to form new partnerships for exploring new avenues for the future of urban mobility.

As mobility experience is increasingly determined not only by duration or monetary cost of travel, USL in partnership with Cisco CREATE and Transport for Greater Manchester will soon be announcing an interdisciplinary 3.5-year ICASE PhD studentship to explore productivity and well-being impacts of digital technologies on workers in mobile settings.

The joint effort is motivated by the trend in which rapid development of new mobile devices and omnipresent connectivity has led to the increasing decoupling of work (and other activities) from specific locations. New cultures of work have emerged, especially strong among knowledge workers, that exploit non-traditional settings, including public spaces and transport modes, with the aim of improving productivity and well-being by the better alignment of tasks to productive times and spaces.

While social science has amassed a significant body of descriptive evidence relating to these practices and their productivity and well-being implications, this knowledge remains largely detached from the quantitative and predictive approaches used in the appraisal and evaluation of digital and physical infrastructure investments.

The aim of the studentship, forming part of the the ESRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, will be to develop new ways of embedding qualitative and quantitative understandings of the impacts of digitisation and connectivity on productivity and well-being into the quantitative frameworks used for infrastructure appraisal and evaluation. The research part of will seek to explore a number of different case studies, including the UK’s largest Internet of Things City demonstrator project, Cityverve in Manchester.

The Urban Systems Lab was formed in October 2015 as a cross faculty partnership between all of Imperial College London’s major Departments and Institutes and a number of external partners. Based at Imperial’s South Kensington Campus, the Urban Systems Lab undertakes the highest quality research in the areas of the planning, design, management, operation and control of urban and regional infrastructure and service systems, in order to inform policy and the understanding of key issues affecting society.

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