Innovative field research methodologies for more inclusive transport planning: Review and prospect

Gina Porter*, Claire Dungey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This chapter focuses on innovative field research methodologies developed over the last few decades that have the potential to support and promote more inclusive transport planning. The review covers methodologies that have been tried out in the Global North and in the Global South, with specific reference to applications in the context of mobilities/transport research and policy, and considers the potential for future applications with specific reference to the Global South. In the Global South transport planning still typically takes the form of a technocratic exercise conducted by a “tyranny of experts,” national and international, whose enthrallment with automobility may severely impede their appreciation of the mobility needs of the public they are appointed to serve (as Klopp and Cavoli, 2018: 105, citing Easterly, 2013, note with reference to African city planning). The everyday experiences, perceptions and needs of the poor, notably slum residents, and of wider vulnerable groups (women, children, older people, the infirm) are often not only marginalized but stigmatized (particularly through association of low income areas with criminality), both by government and private sector planning partners. For more socially equitable mobility solutions to be adopted in the cities of the Global South, broader application of field research methodologies that can engage effectively with a wide spectrum of potential transport users (including marginalized groups) is needed. Significant quantities of sound empirical evidence from such research will be required before the majority of policymakers, urban planners and city managers/personnel start to fully engage with the social dimensions of transport planning. Whether the “new normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic will provide the requisite opportunities to build such engagement currently remains uncertain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-303
JournalAdvances in Transport Policy and Planning
Early online date10 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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