Unbounded Ergonomics: Addressing the Wicked Problem of Gender Transport Poverty in Karachi through the Application of the Hexagon -Spindle Model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gender transport poverty is truly a wicked problem. It is an extreme example of transport poverty, bounded with social and cultural practices, which needs to be addressed, if women can enjoy safe mobility and the rights as equal citizens. This chapter explores whether transport ergonomics, the use of the hexagon-spindle (HS) model, can add any value to the debate by systematically unpicking the problem and mapping issues into a solution space to identify social and cul-tural factors which inhibit gender transport equality and develop culturally appro-priate solutions to. Previous research has applied the HS model to map out Key Performance Indicators for passenger satisfaction, however little exploration has been made of factors falling into the ‘personal sector’. It may be argued, in this and other cases, that these, along with external factors have a significant and sometimes overwhelming effect on mobility, and need greater consideration in the design of transport systems.
Although Pakistan provides an extreme example, women across the globe are denied the freedom to travel freely and without fear of harassment on public transport. Putting the female traveller at the centred of a concentric ring (or the HS) model enables a clearer view of the transport system from a user’s perspec-tive and may show where small inroads can be made. At a wider level it is hoped that transport and mobility can be used to illustrate and reduce the inequalities women in the global south experience in their everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing a Design Approach to Enriching Public Mobility
EditorsSelby Coxon, Robbie Napper
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030647223
ISBN (Print)9783030647216
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
ISSN (Print)1868-4394
ISSN (Electronic)1868-4408

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Gender
  • Hexagon-spindle model
  • Transport poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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