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Project information

Project team

Wladimir Sgibnev, Sebastian Lentz, Lela Rekhviashvili


Tbilisi State University, Georgia; Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan; American University Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Higher School of Economics Moscow, Russia; State University Khujand, Tajikistan; Humboldt University Berlin and Technical University of Berlin; University of Frankfurt (Main); University of Jena

Duration of project

09/2015 – 04/2019

Funded by

Volkswagen Foundation (Volkswagen-Stiftung)

Further information

Wladimir Sgibnev
Tel. +49 341 600 55-161

Project website

Fluid mobilities for cities in transformation

Spatial dynamics of marshrutkas in Central Asia and the Caucasus

The project looked into the emergence of new orders in the fields of economy, morale, urban development and migration in post-Soviet space through the lens of shared taxis, locally known as marshrutkas. The project was subdivided into five complementary PhD dissertations, each one jointly supervised by two project partners and discussing in detail specific aspects of the marshrutka mobility phenomenon. A team of IfL researchers covered the topic from a transnationally comparative perspective, brought together the respective case study results, and ensured the project’s organisational and conceptual coherence.

Apart from closing urgent research gaps, the project aimed at strengthening local research infrastructures, enabling long-lasting research cooperation, and setting up sustainable knowledge transfer mechanisms. In order to provide a high benefit to all participating partners, the project proposed a structured PhD training framework, consisting of summer schools, workshops, various outreach formats and tailored individual and network-wide trainings. The aim was to provide an international and interdisciplinary learning environment for educating highly skilled researchers, and to raise their local and international employability in science, politics, public service, private business or civil society.

The project builds upon empirical and theoretical preliminary work within the project Artefacts of Mobility, Artefacts of Power


Rekhviashvili, Lela / Sgibnev, Wladimir (2018): Placing transport workers on the agenda: the conflicting logics of governing mobility on Bishkek's marshrutkas. In: Antipode, 50 (2018), 5, S. 1376-1395 Website / Video abstract

Rekhviashvili, Lela / Sgibnev, Wladimir (2018): Uber, Marshrutkas and socially (dis-)embedded mobilities. - In: The journal of transport history, 2018, pp. 1-20 Website

Sgibnev, Wladimir (2017): ÖPNV in Gefahr. Städtische Mobilität in der Russischen Föderation. In: Geographie heute, 38 (2017), 334; Russland. S. 18-21

Sgibnev, Wladimir / Tuvikene, Tauri (2017): Urban infrastructures. In: Brade, Isolde / Neugebauer, Carola S. (eds.): Urban Eurasia. Cities in transformation. DOM publishers (Grundlagen; 58), Berlin. S. 45-63

Sgibnev, Wladimir (2017): Architektur und Mobilität. In: Schlager, Edda: Architekturführer Duschanbe. DOM publishers, Berlin. S. 99-103

Sgibnev, Wladimir / Weicker, Tonio (2017): Marschrutki – Chancen und Probleme städtischer Mobilität in Zentralasien. In: Zentralasien-Analysen, 109 (2017), S. 2-6. Website

Media reports:

Project video on vimeo: