Catching the China-Europe express: Exploring the local geographies of the Belt and Road Initiative in Eastern Poland
Funded by FWO (Research Foundation - Flanders) as part of Junior Postdoctoral Fellowship — 2020-2023
Location of my research: Narewka and Małaszewicze (Poland)
The project explores the urban and political geographies of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), looking at how the BRI materialises “on the ground” in two localities in Eastern Poland — Narewka and Małaszewicze — where important logistical hubs at the European Border are located, acting as “gateways to Europe”. The project scrutinises what local interests the BRI represents and opposes, who advances and contests it, how it relates to local economy and urban development. Located in one of the EU’s poorest and “least developed” regions, supposedly suffering from an important “infrastructure gap”, Małaszewicze's and Narewka's "bet" on the BRI is narrated as a glimpse of future modernity and prosperity — without considering the political geographies, stark power assymetries, unevenness and coloniality of the development this strategy heralds.
Labouring transport in times of material scarcity in Cuba
Funded by VLIR-UOS through several XREI-OUT grants
Location of my research: Santiago de Cuba
The project looks at diverse facets of public transport in Santiago, which operates in the context of prolonged and sustained material scarcity of fuel, vehicles and parts, caused by the dissolution of the socialist camp and the tightening of US embargo. Material scarcity has led to gradual yet profound transition, which hinges on the development of new institutions, actors and forms of organisation; creation of new professions and related labour practices; constant change of passengers' involvement and behaviour as simultaneous co-workers and travellers. Adapting a decolonial stance, the resultant empirical evidence holds strong explanatory value for exploring urban mobility well beyond the particular context of Santiago.
LiFT — From Low Fares to No Fares: An Analysis of Economic, Operational, Socio-Spatial and Political Dynamics of Fare-Free Public Transport
Funded by FWO (Research Foundation - Flanders) and FNR (Luxembourg National Research Fund) — 2020-2025
Location of my research: Brazil, Poland, Sweden, United States
Empirically, the ambition of the project is to provide the comprehensive global overview of FFPT to date, while offering an in-depth analysis of on four selected cases of fare abolition programmes. Conceptually, the project advances critical perspectives on transport by developing the link between transport studies and urban studies. It analyses FFPT as a policy that affects not only the economy and operation of local transport networks, but also functions as an inherently urban phenomenon, interacting and conflicting with different publics, spaces, scales and political institutions.
CARIN-PT — Capacities for Resilient and Inclusive Urban Public Transport Infrastructure and Built Environment
Funded by JPI Urban Europe — 2020-2023
Location of my research: Castile and León (Spain)
The project advances a dual perspective on urban public transport and built environment by examining inequalities in terms of needs, capabilities, decision-making and accessibility to public transport. It explores the social justice of public transport and built environment policies in terms of who benefits (distribution), whose needs are considered (recognition), who decides and how (participation). In close collaboration with policy-makers and service providers, the project will consider micromobility, fare structures, flexible on-demand PT and transit-oriented development (TOD) in the urban regions of Tallinn (Estonia), the Flemish cities (Belgium), Stockholm (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway). The project aims to bring about a shift in how mobility policies and services are developed, implemented and delivered so that urban built environments and PT become integrated and inclusive.
PUTSPACE — Public Transport as Public Space in European Cities: Narrating, Experiencing, Contesting
Funded by Humanities in the Research Area (HERA) — 2019-2022
Location of my research: Brussels (Belgium)
PUTSPACE aims to humanise transport research by studying diverse narratives, experiences and contestations of public transport, as they have been unfolding in cities across Europe since the late nineteenth century. The project places public transport at the frontline of contesting what is, can be, or should be public in the city. project explores how public transport confronts citizens with social diversity, speaks of different types of ownership, surveillance, subversion, interaction and transformation of social norms.