Principal investigators

Project Leader

Tauri Tuvikene
Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia

Tauri Tuvikene, PhD, is an urban and cultural geographer working as a Senior Researcher at the Centre of Landscape and Culture, School of Humanities, Tallinn University. His research covers the intersection of urban cultures, mobilities, cities and policies. The research interests include comparative urbanism and (re)conceptualisation of post-socialism as well as experiences and regulations of urban mobility ranging from automobility to walking and public transport. On these topics he has published in various top-ranked journals such as International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Current Sociology and Environment and Planning C as well as co-edited a book Post-Socialist Urban Infrastructures (2019, Routledge). Since 2019, he is a Project Leader for HERA PUTSPACE project and a researcher on Estonian Research Council funded project on “Landscape approach to rurbanity”.

Jason Finch
Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

Jason Finch is Associate Professor of English Language and Literature at Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) and docent (adjunct professor) in Comparative Literature at the University of Turku. He was educated in the UK with a BA from the University of Birmingham and an MPhil from the University of Oxford and in Finland, where his 2011 ÅAU PhD thesis was published as E.M. Forster and English Place: A Literary Topography. Jason works on Anglophone urban literatures, chiefly of the UK and USA, in the period 1820-1970, especially the London ‘slum’, and on mediations of the urbanity of British and US industrial and port cities which boomed in the nineteenth century. The monograph Deep Locational Criticism: Imaginative Place in Literary Research and Teaching (2016) sets out his general approach to the relationship between literature and place. He has co-edited six books including most recently The Materiality of Literary Narratives in Urban History (Routledge, 2019) and published articles in journals such as Literary Geographies, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies and the Finnish Journal of Urban Studies. Jason is a co-founder and currently (2018–20) President of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS).

Wladimir Sgibnev
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig, Germany

Wladimir Sgibnev defended his PhD degree at Humboldt University’s Central Asian studies department, where he examined the social production of space in urban Tajikistan. Currently, he is Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (Leipzig), and coordinator of the institute’s research group on “Mobilities and migration”. He is working on urban processes in post-Soviet countries, with a particular focus on urban development and mobility. Recent research projects addressed survival strategies in peripheral mining cities, informal mobilities, and a reconceptualisation of public transport as public space. His major publication include an edited volume on post-socialist urban infrastructures (Routledge) and an edited volume on polarisation and peripheralisation processes in Central and Eastern Europe (Palgrave). The “Marshrutka project” (2015-2019, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation’s Central Asia and South Caucasus Programme) yielded a series of fundamental articles (co-authored with Lela Rekhviashvili) on post-Soviet informal mobilities, and their role within global debates on urban mobilities. These include a theorisation of informality and social embeddedness for the study of informal transport (Antipode), a discussion of the role of labour relations in the study of informal transport (Transport Geography), as well as a comparative outline between informal transport and new digital ride-hailing services (Journal of Transport History).

Frédéric Dobruszkes
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Frédéric Dobruszkes holds a PhD in Geography (2007) from the Free University of Brussels (ULB). He is currently an FNRS Research Associate and lecturer at the same institution. He is Head of the Brussels-based Interuniversity Centre for Mobility Studies (CIEM) and the Vice-chair of the Brussels Regional Commission of Mobility. His main research interests are transport geography (especially long-distance mobilities, urban transport and social conflicts around aircraft noise) and transport policy, including the design of public transport networks and accessibility issues faced by persons with reduced mobility.

Project team members​

Silja Laine
University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Silja Laine is a cultural historian specialized in urban cultural history and environmental humanities. She defended her PhD in cultural history at the University of Turku. In her thesis, she concentrated on urban imagery, debates around building projects in a new capital city, and skyscrapers in 1920s’ Helsinki. Since then she has worked as a senior lecturer in Landscape studies and as a post-doctoral researcher in the department of Landscape architecture at the Aalto University. In Aalto, she concentrated on the military cultural memory of the Finnish Civil War in urban space. She has a longlasting interest in the history and formation of public spaces. She is a member of the board in the Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS) and the Finnish Society for Urban Studies. Her recent publication is the co-edited The Materiality of Literary Narratives in Urban History (Routledge, 2019).

Tonio Weicker
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig, Germany

Tonio Weicker is a young researcher currently based at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany. He holds a BA degree in Sociology, an MA in East European Studies and recently finished his PhD at Technische Universität Berlin. The thesis focuses on marshrutka mobility in the two Russian cities Rostov on Don and Volgograd and provides a detailed analysis of a hybrid commercial transport sector, the underlying enterprise structures and labour relations as well as currently applied transport policies of concern in the respective case studies. The project was part of the research programme “Fluid mobilities in transformation: spatial dynamics of marshrutkas in Central Asia and the Caucasus” funded by the IFL Leipzig and the Volkswagen Foundation.

Wojciech Kębłowski
Cosmopolis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

PUTSPACE PhD Researchers

Aleksandra Ianchenko
Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia and 
Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

Aleksandra is an artist and PhD student at Tallinn University and Åbo Akademi University. She studied Fine Art at Irkutsk State Technical University in Russia. After the graduation, she remained working at the university as a project manager and a graphic designer alongside with developing her artistic practice. 2016-2017 she studied contemporary art at the School “Free workshops” by Moscow museum of modern art. She spent a year as an exchange student at Humboldt University in Berlin and finished her second MA in Art management at Russian State University for the Humanities in 2019. As an artist, Aleksandra explores public transport using a range of mediums from drawings to performances. In her PhD research she focuses on public art projects on tramways.

Louise Sträuli
Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Louise Sträuli is a PhD student in the project PUTSPACE affiliated to Tallinn University (TLÜ) and Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Louise has a background as a sales consultant for public transport in Zurich (ZVV) and an Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree in ‘Global Markets, Local Creativities’ (GLOCAL) from University of Glasgow, Universitat de Barcelona and Erasmus University Rotterdam. In her doctoral thesis, she combines her interest in social justice issues with public space and mobility. Beyond the question of what distinguishes public transport as public, Louise aims to uncover the tensions between everyday mobility experiences and planning-related mobility narratives. In particular, she examines the development of fare policies, the experiences of ticket controls and practices of fare evasion, as well as the often neglected mobilities of care. To this end, she combines qualitative methods with participatory elements and policy analysis. For more on Louise’s thesis.

Research Assistant

Adam Borch
Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

Research coordination and support

Kerstin Liiva
Tallinn University School of Humanities, Tallinn, Estonia

Advisory Board

 Sara Brandellero
Assistant Professor at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society

 Sam Mullins
Director of the London Transport Museum

Lynne Pearce
Professor at the Department of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University

 Sampo Ruoppila
Research Director (urban studies), University of Turku, Department of Social Research, Turku Urban Research Programme

Martin Schiefelbusch
Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg, Kompetenzzentrum neuer ÖPNV / Regional public transport organisation Baden-Württemberg, Centre of competence “New Public Transport”

 Oksana Zaporozhets
Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) /
Associate Professor, Sociology Department, National Research University Higher School of Economics