Ongoing projects

Several projects under the FUT Program have a research focus well aligned with the new theme.


MAC-program - overview of exploratory projects newly funded

Overview of the new projects as a whole

  • In all, 44 project proposals were submitted, of which 8 were granted funding (18%);
  • All of the projects are comparative projects; these projects include urban case studies in all three regions covered by the call (Southern, Western, Eastern Africa);
  • All thematic clusters within the MAC-program are represented in the projects except for cluster 5, system integration and modal design;
  • In all, the projects entail cooperation among researchers from 27 universities in SSA; 10 universities in the North are represented in advisory roles;
  • Project leaders:
    • 6 of 8 project leaders are new recipients of VREF funding
    • 3 of 8 project leaders are women
    • 3 of 8 project leaders are younger scholars or recent Ph.Ds; several projects will engage students, doctoral candidates or younger scholars in the work;
    • Examples of project leaders’ backgrounds: planning/architecture, transport studies, environmental law, development studies, history, engineering;

Some tentative conclusions/implications

  • Significant potential for ”South to South” knowledge transfer;
  • Evidence of many multidisciplinary, cross-region SSA engagements;
  • Strong representation of young scholars, scholars new to VREF, scholars new to transport research, as well as scholars in social science and humanities;
  • Promising links between research and education that can potentially be further developed by VREF as we move forward.

The new projects funded by the MAC-program in 2019

  • EP-2019-MAC-01: Towards comparative, historically informed research on contemporary African urban transport issues: A proposal for a research network, led by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa with Njogu Morgan, PhD
  • EP-2019-MAC-02: The capabilities approach as a needs assessment framework for vulnerable non-motorised transport users in African Cities led by the University of Cape Town, South Africa with Mark Zuidgeest, Professor
  • EP-2019-MAC-03: Micro-dynamics and Macro-processes: a Maputo-Johannesburg comparative study of intra-household decision-making and state-investment in transit led by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa with Sarah Charlton, Associate Professor
  • EP-2019-MAC-04: Exploring the Potential of Minibus Electrification in Three African Cities led by the School of Law, University of Nairobi, Kenya, with Edna Odhiambo, Lecturer
  • EP-2019-MAC-05: Comparative Analysis of Combined Effects of Transport and Urban Morphology on Public Health in Two African Capitals led by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, with Dr. Charles Anum Adams, Senior Lecturer
  • EP-2019-MAC-06: Urban Spaces Design, Mobility and Transport Safety of Children: A Comparative Study of Nairobi and Kumasi Cities led by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, Kenya, with Dr. Anne Wairimu Kamau, Research Fellow
  • EP-2019-MAC-07: Wheels of Change: Establishing best practices in the urban motorcycle taxi sector in Sub-Saharan Africa led by the University of Science and Technology, Kenya, with Patrick Hayombe, Professor
  • EP-2019-MAC-08: Comparative Analysis of the E-Hailing Mobility Services in Selected Cities In West, East and Southern Africa led by the Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria, with Dr. Samuel Odewumi, Professor

Already on-going projects

  • The CoE Bus Rapid Transit + (BRT+) established in 2010 and led by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) with Prof. Juan Carlos Muñoz as Project Leader. Other core partners are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Pretoria, the University of Sydney, and EMBARQ – The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, including its network of centres of sustainable transport.

  • The African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport (ACET)established in 2008 and led by the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of Cape Town, with Professor Roger Behrens as Project Leader. Other core partners include the Department of Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam, and the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi.

Other Projects

  • Pedestrian-safe public transport systems: Infrastructure, operations, vehicles, policies, and legislation led by the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, with Prof. Geetam Tiwari as Project Leader
  • Integrating paratransit and BRT in the developing world: Global metropolitan case studies and user perspectives led by UC Berkeley, with Prof. Robert Cervero as Project Leader
  • Public transport advocacy in African cities led by the Columbia University, New York, with Associate Research Scholar Jacqueline Klopp as Project Leader
  • Studies and Capacitybuilding of Bus Rapid Transit in China co-led by the China Urban Sustainable Transport Research Center, Beijing and CoE ALC-BRT, with Associate Prof. Xumei Chen and Prof. Juan Carlos Muñoz as Project Leader
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The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call extended to April 30, 2020 due to COVID19.


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About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

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