Geography of Transport Systems


a) Recognize the importance of transport for modern society;
b) Understand historical, spacial, technical, political, economic and social contexts that determine transport network development and evolution;
c) Understand the complexity of relations existing between transport systems, levels of economic and social development and spatial organization;
d) Develop critical reasoning about major challenges faced by transport sector in developed societies;
e) Analyse the consequences of transport development for human activities, territory and environment;
f) Develop methodology and analysis techniques for transport networks and systems;
g) Apply achieved knowledge and skills to practical situations, especially to studies of transport demand and offer of a particular terrirory;
h) Develop technical reports about transport systems´ evolution and organization from geographic perspective.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Alberto Figueira de Sousa


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Bavoux, J.-J., Beaucire, F., Cahpelon, L., Zembri, P. (2005). Géographie des Transports. Paris: Armand Colin.

Hanson, S., Giuliano, G. (2004). The Geography of Urban Transportation. New York: The Guilford Press.

Hoyle, B., Knowles, R. (ed) (1998). Modern Transport Geography. London: John Wiley & Sons.

IDAE, PMUS (2006). Guía práctica para la elaboración e implantación de planes de movilidad urbana sostenible. Madrid: Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio.

Mérenne, É. (1995). Géographie des Transports. Paris: Éditions Nathan.

Vuchic, V. R. (2005). Urban Transit: Operations, Planning and Economics. New Jersey: Wiley.

Teaching method

- Theory classes (50%): expository and involving participation (debates);
- Practical classes (50%): presentation and discussion of case studies, debates, application of specific methodology and techniques

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1) Historical context and physical constraints for the development of transport systems
2) Political, economic, social and spatial factors
3) Transport modes
4) Technical performance of different transport modes
5) Transport offer and demand
6) Accessibility and competitiveness of a territory
7) Mobility growth and problems of circulation
8) Urban mobility challenges
9) Innovation in transport sector: alternative transport modes and new energy resources;
10) The role of a state and other actors in organization and functioning of transport systems;
11) Social function of transport: public transport vs private vehicle
12) Transport as economic activity
13) Impacts of transport sector
14) Competitiveness and complementarity of different transport modes
15) Reconciliation of transport policy and environmental policy.


Programs where the course is taught: