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(Tele)commuting, cities and weather conditions

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tranos
    Dr Chapman
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project aims to explore the relationship between (tele)commuting and weather. Researchers have spent significant effort in modelling the effects of weather conditions and also extreme weather events on commuting and transport infrastructure. Also, prior research has tried to understand the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can perform as an enabling platform for working remotely and avoiding or decreasing physical commuting. This PhD project will build upon these two streams of research and also incorporate a risk dimension which is related to extreme weather and climate change. For instance, changes to the daily commute can be made during extreme weather (e.g. floods, heatwaves, snow), allowing commuters to select the mode of transport which is most resilient for the conditions. At the extreme, telecommuting can be seen as a powerful tool to increase resilience.

Cities are organised in space as complex urban networks, which are connected together through various diverse layers of infrastructure (from transport to digital infrastructure). These infrastructural layers vary from city to city and will affect the capacity of individuals to commute. With respect to telecommuting, the complexity of the above argumentation increases if we consider labour and housing markets. For instance, not every industry can support and take advantage of telecommuting opportunities. Similarly, people whose occupation enables telecommuting may reside in close proximity or in areas of similar socio-economic profile. For instance, problems with Internet broadband connectivity in rural areas might still be a deteriorating factor for working from home and avoiding physical commuting. This PhD project will build upon the above narrative and answer research questions related with the capacity of places and individuals to telecommute, the relation of telecommuting with with weather and extreme weather events, and the link between infrastructure – both digital and transport infrastructure – with telecommuting.

A key partnership with Enable ID has already been secured, which will provide a wealth of stream data in regards to personal mobility. This PhD project will introduce a framework of diverse analytical methods which include statistical analysis such as multi-level modelling, data mining, network analysis, spatial analysis and visualisation.

About you: Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Geography, Urban Planning, Transport Engineering or Computer Science.

For further details: Please contact Dr Emmanouil Tranos:

Funding Notes

Fully funded DREAM (ESRC) project

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 25.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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