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New ITC book Why Travel? explores the fundamental motivations for travel and how we can travel better

  The Independent Transport Commission is delighted to announce publication of the book Why Travel? Understanding our need to move and how it shapes our lives, released in July 2021 by Bristol University Press. The book is one of the major outputs from the ITC’s Why Travel? research project, which explores the fundamental motivations behind […]

Sedentism: The great settling down?

Most evolutionary biologists agree that humans evolved in the savannah of eastern Africa around 300,000 years ago (BP), and for most of that time we have been a nomadic species, settling for short periods of time before moving with the seasons and climate in search of sources of food and water. But the nearly 7 […]

Songlines: Travel, song and creation

Songlines, or Dreaming Tracks, are routes that criss-cross Australia, some running thousands of miles from coast to coast. Within the animist belief system of Indigenous Australian peoples, a songline is a path which follows the route taken by ancestral creation spirits during the Alcheringa (or Dreamtime), a “time out of time” when ancestral animal beings […]

“To boldly go where no one has gone before!” Science Fiction and Travel

“To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!”[1] These famous opening lines from the iconic television series Star Trek outline one of the central themes of the show: exploration, or travel into the unknown in search of new knowledge. The mission […]

Freedom to travel: A brief history of the passport

  A passport is, in modern days, an indispensable object for foreign travel. To some it symbolises freedom, but the passport can also be a tool of control and restriction. In a world where having the ‘right’ passport can mean the difference between life and death, or the hope of safety and prosperity, this small […]

Marchetti’s Constant and Travel Time Budgets: One hour’s travel a day?

The location of villages in Greece, the average daily commute, and the size of cities – what do these seemingly unrelated things have in common? According to the Italian systems analyst Cesare Marchetti (who turned 90 last year), they can all be related to the finding that humans spend on average one hour per day […]