Chapter 10 – Challenges for Transport Geography

Transport geography seeks to understand the spatial organization of mobility. It has emerged as a full-fledged field within geography with a strong propensity to include concepts and methods from other disciplines such as economics, engineering, environmental sciences, and sociology. Because transportation systems are involved in various scales and modes, from local public transit to global maritime shipping, it tends to be partitioned. It is challenging to reconcile perspectives such as pedestrian mobility issues or the selection of air cargo hubs by a freight forwarder. Multidisciplinary approaches remain at the core of transport geography simply because its modes are simultaneously independent but interconnected at different scales. Irrespective of the scale and the mode, transport geography shares several common issues and challenges.

Transportation is growing significantly and changing in the face of challenges and drivers of change, such as sustainability, congestion, governance, and technology. As the transport industry becomes more complex, conventional approaches, focusing on a narrow range of factors, have to be replaced by more nuanced analysis and solutions. Further, issues related to freight mobility are assuming greater importance within the discipline, partly driven by the setting of global supply chains and the growth of urban freight distribution. The scope for transport geography remains diverse in the transport industry, public planning, and research institutions. The same forces will likely shape future transportation systems as in the past, but it remains to be seen which technologies will prevail and their impacts on the spatial structure.


10.1 – Transport Resilience

10.2 – Governance, Management and Digitalization

10.3 – Social and Environmental Responsibility

10.4 – Future Transportation Systems