RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research invites you to Dr Robin Lovelace’s lunchtime seminar Real-time vulnerability metrics.

Seminar brief

There has been much discussion about the vulnerability of current human systems to energy scarcity. A recent flurry of research has attempted to quantify the degree to which different people and places are vulnerable.

One of the first efforts in this direction was the VIPER index, developed in 2005 to illustrate the links between car dependency, deprivation and residential location. This concept has been built-on by others to explore other aspects of vulnerability, but very few operate on the individual level and none allow real-time updates on the impacts of oil shocks today. Such a fine-grained metric would have great potential utility as a policy evaluation and planning tool, to prepare for a transition away from fossil fuels.

This paper develops a methodology for creating more real-time, open and interactive measures of oil vulnerability using datasets harvested from AURIN and additional sources.

Presenter biography

Robin is an environmental geographer and environmental scientist based at the University of Leeds. His research is roughly divided into methodological and applied research.

In terms of methods, Robin is developing new methods in ‘spatial microsimulation’ that will make it easy to generate synthetic populations at the local level, by combining individual-level survey data with geographically aggregated count data from the Census.

Robin is a skilled R user and has taught postgraduates and researchers at the national level based on his popular tutorial project ‘Creating maps in R’. In terms of applied work, Robin is passionate about using geography to better understand the steps needed to transition away from fossil fuels. This has led to publications on ‘oil vulnerability’, the energy implications of modal shift away from the car and his thesis on the ‘Energy costs of commuting: A spatial microsimulation approach’.

Robin can be found online as @Robinlovelace.


RMIT University, Fig tree room (Building 15 Level 03 Room 003)


Thursday, 18 December, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm