UCL Energy Institute

Dr Paulo Anciaes

Dr Paulo Anciaes

Senior Research Fellow - Transport Behaviour Modeller

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
11th Nov 2013

Research summary

I am interested in the social and health aspects of transport and mobility and the distribution of benefits and costs of transport among different groups and users of different modes. See more at anciaes.com.

I am currently a work package leader and member of the steering committee of the EU-funded MOVE2CCAM project, developing a comprehensive impact assessment of autonomous vehicles for passenger and freight transport. This considers socio-economic, health, and environmental aspects and the needs of all individuals (regardless of age, gender, income, and location) and companies (regardless of size and location).

In 2018-2022, I was a work package leader and member of the steering committee of the EU-funded MORE project on the allocation of urban streetspace. I developed tools to generate solutions that balance the needs of all users and economic, social, and environmental objectives. Let's imagine we want to improve conditions for pedestrians but without making bus users worse off than they are now. And at the same time reducing emissions and improving the local economy. My tools give a list of solutions, backed by scientific evidence. The tools are available here. If you rather see the full list of options as a 450-page book, download The Urban Streetspace Book

Less obvious solutions for street design

I have also done a lot of research on pedestrian mobility, particularly community severance (the barrier effect of roads on pedestrians). Do people living near busy roads walk less than others? What is the effect on physical activity, social contacts, and wellbeing? Can we measure the cost of these effects? These questions are especially relevant for older people, for whom walking is vital for health and wellbeing. I have collaborated with colleagues from public health, urban planning, and participatory mapping on several projects. I have published extensively on this topic and spoke about it in 44 events around the world.

I have also developed a tool to forecast the effect of reducing barriers to pedestrians. Let's say we want to reduce the number of traffic lanes, or reduce speed limits, or add crossing facilities, or move the facilities 5 metres away. What is the result on the barrier effect (on a scale from 0 to 100)? How many pedestrians will stop crossing the road in unsafe locations? How many extra walking trips will be made? And what is the benefit of all this measured in terms of money? My tool can answer these questions. Try it here.

Separated by the road

I am also interested in urban mobility in the Global South and the equity implications of increased motorization in cities with rapid population growth. I have worked with colleagues in Cabo Verde and Cuba to map public transport accessibility and walking conditions.

New roads, same old problems for pedestrians in African cities

My research has been reported in i news, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, Evening Standard, Sky News, CTV News, Time Out, Medical News Today, Rail Magazine and more than 200 other publications in 19 languages


Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Diploma |
London School of Economics and Political Science
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy |
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
First Degree, Bachelor of Science |
Tohoku University, Japan
Other higher degree, Master of Science |


I am a Senior Researcher interested in the links between transport, mobility, health, and society. My research has been international, interdisciplinary, and inter-sectoral, with a policy focus and engagement with non-academic stakeholders. Most of my research since 2015 has been in collaboration with European partners.

Check my work and more at anciaes.com

I won the UCL Excellence in Health Research Prize 2019, awarded by UCL to recognise excellent research in population health.

I also supervise students in two master courses (Transport and Economics/Policy of Energy and Environment). I am also a mentor of PhD students under the B-Mentor Mentoring Scheme and an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Lead at the UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources.

I am engaged in the work of several professional associations. I am in the:

  • Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Transport and Health Science Group (THSG)

I am also in the editorial board of the Journal of Transport and Health and of Wellbeing, Space and Society and I am a regular contributor to the LSE Review of Books

I regularly work as evaluator for European Union transport research, innovation, and investment projects. I am also a member of the European Science Foundation College of Expert Reviewers

I am a honorary researcher at the Research Center on Complexity and Economics of Lisbon University

Recent publications

  • Anciaes, P., Metcalfe, P. (2023) Constraints to travel outside the local area: effect on social participation and self-rated health. J.Transport and Health 28:101535.
  • Anciaes, P. (2023) Effects of the roadside visual environment on driver wellbeing and behaviour - a systematic review. Transport Reviews 43, 571-598.
  • Anciaes, P., Nascimento, J. (2022) Road traffic reduces pedestrian accessibility – quantifying the size and distribution of barrier effects in an African city. J.Transport and Health 27:101522
  • Anciaes, P., Jones, P., Mindell, J., Scholes, S. (2022) The cost of the wider impacts of road traffic on local communities: 1.6% of Great Britain's GDP. Transp. Res. A: Policy and Practice, 163, 266-287.
  • Higgsmith, M., Stockton, J., Anciaes, P., Scholes, S., Mindell, J S. (2022) Community severance and health: measuring community severance and examining its impact on the health of adults in Great Britain. J. Transport and Health, 25:101368
  • Melo, P C., Rego, C., Anciaes, P., Guiomar, N., Muñoz-Rojas, J. (2022) Does road accessibility to cities support rural population growth? Evidence for Portugal between 1991 and 2011. J. Regional Science 62, 443-470.
  • Anciaes, P., Bradbury, A. (2022) Community severance in urban Africa., in R Acheampong et al (Eds)Transport and Mobility Futures in Urban Africa. Springer, Chum., pp.111-127.
  • Anciaes, P., Jones, P. (2022) Pedestrian priority in street design - how can it improve sustainable mobility? Transp. Res. Procedia, 60, 220-227.
  • Anciaes, P. (2022) Revealed preference valuation of beach and river water quality in Wales. J. Environmental Economics and Policy 11, 75-94.