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John D. Graham
This Handbook of Public Transport Research aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest research in a growing field: the field of research on urban public transport. The quantity of public transport related research papers has doubled in the last nine years. Why? For two reasons. First, researchers have been increasingly inspired by the topic. It is an applied and practical topic affecting the quality of life of billions of people. It is also a field with significant challenges, seeking new and original solutions. These challenges range from the difficult interface of engineering, operations and human perceptions in user satisfaction and performance management, to the tricky balance between prudent financial management, operations planning and the social access goals making subsidies essential. These challenges require a multi-disciplinary perspective to wicked problems in Engineering, Planning, Psychology and Design, which is why the field is intellectually as well as tactically challenging. The foundation of many of these challenges is the conflicting congestion and environmental relief, and the social equity objectives that justify public transport in cities.
This opening chapter for the book will begin with an exposition of the book objectives and structure. It will then move to brief discussions of the three primal notions, which constitute the basis for this book: information, virtual spatial mobility, and connectivity.
Robert C. Kloosterman, Virginie Mamadouh and Pieter Terhorst
This chapter starts with a brief history of the concept ‘globalization’. It highlights the rather surprising rapid emergence of the concept in the 1990s when it acquired a very prominent status in both academic and public debates. After that, some of the many meanings of globalization are explored. More in particular, the focus is on the plurality of geographical expressions as well as of current geographical approaches to the manifold processes of globalization. The chapter argues that the spatial dimension – in marked contrast to the temporal dimension – has long been neglected in social sciences in general. Current processes of globalization require an a priori acknowledgment of the fundamental role of space as these processes may be articulated in very different ways in different places. Geographical approaches, characterized by a sensitivity to space, place and spatial scales, are highly relevant to understand processes of globalization.