From community networks tackling climate change to GIS, space-time analysis and intelligent transport systems, Northumbria University researchers contributed papers and chaired sessions at this year’s prestigious Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference in Edinburgh.
The event took place from Tuesday to Thursday this week at the University of Edinburgh and welcomed over 1,200 geographers from around the world. Researchers from three Schools at Northumbria were involved in over 30 sessions during the course of the three-day conference, delivering papers and chairing panels on a diverse range of topics. Two examples are given below:
Dr Kate Theobald, a Reader in the School of Built and Natural Environment, co-presented a paper with Auley Genus (Kingston University) on The Role of ‘Ego Networks’ in Creating Low Carbon Neighbourhoods:
The Newcastle Low Carbon Network project takes an ethnographic and participatory approach to action research, which focuses on analysis of changing social networks and their effectiveness in developing neighbourhood-based action for low carbon living […] It explores the relationships of these participants with the university researchers undertaking the project, based on an analysis of the textual material such as researcher notes and diaries from meetings, workshops, committee reports, plus other relevant documentary evidence.
Dr Seraphim Alvanides and Godwin Yeboah, Reader and PhD student, both in the School of Built and Natural Environment, presented on Understanding urban cycling behaviours and constraints in space-time:
The aim of the paper is to present a comparative geographical analysis of primary tracks on everyday utility cycling, in comparison to “official” cycling network data of the study area. The purpose of this research is to provide evidence on the use of the area’s cycling infrastructure by experienced commuter cyclists, by estimating the cycle-miles on the cycling network as a percentage of the total, for the given sample. In order to fully comprehend the constraints imposed on cyclists, the tracks are analysed alongside vehicle congestion data. Space-time methods are used to understand what time of the day the trips are within or outside the cycling network in comparison to peak traffic times from traffic counters.
The overarching theme of this year’s conference was security of geography/geography of security, which combined an inward focus on the health of research in the discipline with an outward perspective on the ways in which geography contributes to the security of environments, people and communities.