TRANSPORT SHAPING SPACE, BEFORE AND AFTER PEAK OIL
PROFESSOR RICHARD KNOWLES
Professor of Transport Geography, University of Salford, U.K.
14 DECEMBER 2010 (TUESDAY)
19:00 - 20:00
WANG GUNGWU THEATRE, GRADUATE HOUSE, THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
Institute of Transport Studies, The University of Hong Kong
This lecture examines the role of transport in shaping space and potential consequences of Peak Oil. The lecture starts by reviewing the differential collapse in time-space resulting from successive transport innovations. Historical impacts of cheaper and faster transport on spatial development are considered at different geographical scales. Whilst there is now widespread recognition of the negative environmental consequences of burning oil, much less consideration has been given nationally or globally to the future supply and price of oil. Peak Oil (peak global oil production) is looming whilst the growth in global consumption outstrips known and anticipated reserves. As a finite resource, oil is unsustainable but it is the sole or dominant fuel for all modes of mechanized transport except railways. Already, the era of cheap 'easy oil' appears to be over. Higher oil prices should encourage the development of alternative fuels and technologies and the main alternatives are briefly examined. The lecture concludes by examining the potential consequences of Peak Oil for transport and future patterns of spatial development.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Professor Richard Knowles is Professor of Transport Geography at the University of Salford, United Kingdom. He is the Editor of the Journal of Transport Geography and the President of the International Geographical Union's Commission on Transport and Geography. His valuable contribution to transport research is widely recognized internationally. Professor Knowles received the 2004 Edward Ullman Award in Transportation Geography (Association of American Geographers) and the 2010 Alan Hay Award in Transport Geography (Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers). He is a member of UK's EPSRC funded, Sustainable Urban Environments SUE2 Research Team, and the co-editor of Knowles, Shaw & Docherty (2008) Transport Geographies: Mobilities, Flows and Spaces, Blackwell, Oxford. Professor Knowles is the author of numerous research papers, books and book chapters, conference papers, reports and book reviews.