Personal profile


Dr Karen Lucas is Professor of Human Geography and Director of Research in the Department of Geography within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED).  She is deputy director of the Manchester Urban Institute  and leads its Transport and Mobilities research group. She has 25+ years’ experience of delivering social research into practice in transport, employing a variety of mixed methods approaches to issues of mobility, accessibility and social justice.

Karen is a world-leading expert on transport and social justice in the Global North and South.  She is currently working on developing transport poverty index for the European Commission's DG Employment and recently devised a new integrated methodology for the social assessment of road projects for National Highways.  She previously undertook similar assessments of the A465 bypass project for the Welsh Government and of the Lower Thames Crossing project for the Department of Transport. She is director of the International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Communities (INTALInC)., which is a global network of academics, policymakers, NGOs and frontline agencies to promote transport justice in Global South cities.

Karen also researches issue of energy poverty and environmental justice in the UK context, currently leading the High-End Energy Consumers project for the Centre for Research of Energy Demand Systems (CREDS), which is funded by UK Research and Innovation.

She is a member of the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Transport Geography, Springer's Transportation journal and Urban Book Series.

Further information

Karen was recently appointed as Professor of Human Geography SEED in July 2020. 

From 2013-2020, she was Professor of Transport and Social Analysis at the Institute for transport Studies and co-director of the Leeds social science Institute at the University  of Leeds

She was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Transport Studies Unit (TSU), University of Oxford, where she also held a Senior Research Fellowship at Kellogg College. She previously worked for 11 years as a senior research fellow at the Transport Studies Group, University of Westminster, where I was also research coordinator for the Centre for Sustainable Development.

Research interests

Units taught

  • UG modules for BA Human Geography
  • Masters' Dissertation Supervisor
  • Short course coordinator for CPD training


I am happy to consider the supervision of research projects in a range of areas related to the mobility and accessibility inequalities, energy and climate justice, and the experiences of vulnerable population groups and communities.  I am interested in the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods and blended approaches.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Science, Sustainable Regeneration Thames Gateway, University of Greenwich

1 Oct 199431 Oct 1997

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Bachelor of Social Science, Green Consumerism, London South Bank University

30 Sept 199130 Jun 1994

Award Date: 30 Jun 1994

Areas of expertise

  • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • Social class
  • Equity
  • mobilities
  • energy justice

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Urban Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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