Cluster 8: ICT

Cluster 8 focuses on the impact of ICT on the spatial economy and transport systems. On the one hand, ICT directly affect space, economy and travel behavior by dramatically changing transaction and transportation costs as well as individual travel behavior. On the other hand, the digital revolution has generated an abundance of digitally collected bottom-up data, the utilization of which in spatial and transport analysis has just started. The breadth of such sources, which include anything from online social networks to passive and active crowd sourcing data, has the potential to assist researchers in better under-standing spatial phenomena: from commuting to car speed analysis and from crowd to transport management providing travelers personalized travel information derived from big data sources.

The objective of cluster 8 is to bring together researchers with an interest in the implications of ICT on urban and transport networks as well as in the use of big data sources for urban and transport analysis and modelling and transport management.

Cluster 8 Co-chairs:

Eran Ben-Elia is an Associate Prof. at the Dept. of Geography and Environmental Development Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and head of the GAMES (Game-based models) lab. He has a PhD in Transportation Science, M.Sc in Urban Planning from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Tel Aviv University. His research interests are in understanding complex spatially-explicit systems and the applications of information and communication technologies (ICT) to promote sustainable and healthier mobility. His research applies state-of-the-art methodologies including: behavioral economics, serious gaming, agent-based simulation models, big data analytics, Virtual Reality. His research has wide scale implications for improving mobility and transport planning for smart city applications and shared autonomous vehicles.  Website:

wismansLuc Wismans is Associate Professor at the Centre for Transport Studies, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, the Netherlands and Team manager Consulting of DAT.Mobility. He is active in the field of traffic of transport since 1997, both scientific as in practice. In 2012 he finished his PhD research on the dynamic multi objective network design problem in which the externalities of traffic are the objectives and dynamic traffic management measures the decision variables. His fields of expertise is on transport modeling, externality modeling, ITS and monitoring and evaluation. In DAT.Mobility, which started January 2014, ICT expertise concerning data analysis, transport modeling, geographic information systems and software development has been brought together to develop products to provide decision making data (e.g. crowd information based on mobile phone data, real time traffic prediction, multimodal trip planning and transport modeling). His personal website can be found at:

Siiri Silm is Associate Professor in Human Geography with the Mobility Lab (, Department of Geography, University of Tartu. She has participated since 2004 in developing mobile phone based methodology and conducting research. Her research interest is related to various topics related to the spatial and temporal behavior of people. She studies ethnic and socio-economic segregation and mobility-related inequalities, sustainable travel behaviour, cross-border mobility, tourism, and social networks. An area of particular focus is the application of human mobility knowledge as part of data-based decision-making for spatial planning and the development of smart cities.

Tuuli Toivonen is associate professor of geoinformatics at the Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Helsinki. She leads the multidisciplinary Digital Geography Lab linked to the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science and the Urban and Regional Research Institute. Her research interests are related to approaches and applications of geoinformatics that may support spatial planning, policy and decision-making. Currently her research focuses mostly on analysing and understanding human accessibility and mobility in urban and natural environments, and their implications to sustainable urban planning, as well as nature conservation. She leads accessibility research projects developing methods for multitemporal, multimodal accessibility analyses using open data sources and geosocial media data analysis to inform land use and conservation planning and management. She is a great fan of open data and open science and interested in the implications of openness to education, research and society. Her personal website can be found at:

Cluster activities

  • Special session on Big data and mobility: a digital framework of human communications for smarter cities during the NECTAR 2015 International Conference on “Smart Transport-Smart Planning”, Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA), 14-16 June 2015. For more information visit the link:
  • Workshop on Big data: a new opportunity for urban transport and mobility policies in Seville (Spain), 10-11 March 2016. See here for the call.
  • Special session on Mobile phones, travel and transportation at Mobile Tartu Conference 2016 Tartu, Estonia, 29/06 – 01/07 2016. See here for the call.
  • Cluster 8 Thematic Session “Understanding mobility using ICT” 13th NECTAR international conference, May 31-June 2 2017, Madrid
  • Cluster 8 Cluster Thematic session “Human scale mobility innovations” 14th NECTAR international conference, June 5-7, 2019, University of Helsinki
  • Special session on Mobile phones, travel and transportation at Mobile Tartu Conference 2020 Tartu, Estonia, 29th of June – 1st of July 2020. See here for the call
  • Special session on “Workforce impact of autonomous technologies” at the 57th Annual North American Meeting of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI), November 10-13, 2021, Denver, U.S.A. See here for the call.
  • Special session on Mobile phones, travel and transportation at Mobile Tartu Conference 2022, Tartu, Estonia, 28/06 – 30/06, 2022. See here for call.
  • Special session on “Mobile big data for spatial mobility and transport planning”  at the Mobile Tartu Conference 2024, Tartu, Estonia, 12th – 14th of June 2024.

See the publication page for publications organised by the cluster.