Schwanen, Professor Tim


Tim Schwanen

Professor of Transport Geography
Director of the Transport Studies Unit 

Academic background

Tim is Professor of Transport Geography as well as Director of the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) in the School of Geography and the Environment. He is also Supernumerary Fellow in Geography at St Anne’s College.

Tim obtained his PhD from the Department of Human Geography and Planning of Utrecht University, The Netherlands in 2003 (cum laude), after which he worked as a post-doctoral researcher and Lecturer in Urban Geography at the same university. He joined the University of Oxford in March 2009, first as a Research Fellow at the TSU and later as Departmental Lecturer in Transport Studies and Human Geography. Tim has fulfilled the TSU Director role since September 2015.



Preliminary Examination – Human Geography, Mobilities and Networks.

Final Honour School – Transport and Mobilities Optional Course


MSc/MPhil in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance – Governance, Policy and Politics.

Elective – Cities, Mobility and Climate Change.

Research interests

Tim’s research concentrates on the geographies of the everyday mobilities of people, goods and information. It is international in outlook, interdisciplinary in scope, informed by the thinking in various sub-disciplines within Geography, and organised around five more general concerns:

  • Low-carbon mobilities and cities – innovation and experimentation, transformations, politics and governance, justice;
  • Futures and temporality – sociotechnical transitions, path dependency, habit, rhythm, resilience, vulnerability;
  • Social and spatial inequality – age, gender, the role of mobility and infrastructure;
  • Well-being – conceptualisations, relationships with mobility and place, politics;
  • Philosophy of transport and mobility – history of thought and praxis, new concepts and modes of thinking.

Recent Publications


  • Schwanen, T. and Van Kempen, R. (eds.) (2019) Handbook of Urban Geography. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. pp. 512. ISBN: 978 1 78536 459 4.
  • Manderscheid, K., Schwanen, T. and Tyfield, D. (eds.) (2015) Foucault and Mobilities. Routledge, Abingdon. pp. 154. ISBN: 9781138904842.

Selected Journal Articles