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Dr. Malve Jacobsen

Postdoctoral Researcher


Postal Address: Meckenheimer Allee 166, D-53115 Bonn

Office: Geozentrum, Meckenheimer Allee 176

Room: 0.021

E-mail: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] 

Phone: +49 (0)228 73 - 68710

Office hours: 

by arrangement (please write me an email)    



Current research

In her postdoctoral project "The Infrastructuration of Urban Air", Malve focuses on the increasing political importance of air quality and the role of urban transport. In Indian and German cities, she explores questions of environmental justice and examines how air is increasingly being transformed from a collective to an exclusive commodity, and which technical solutions could support green infrastructures in the future.

Malve is interested in debates of economic, cultural and urban geography, as well as the nexus of Policy Mobility Studies, Science and Technology Studies and Postcolonial Studies. She has a regional focus on South India, European metropolitan regions and East Africa. She works with methods of qualitative social research and combines these with ethnographic perspectives.



Malve works as a postdoc at the Department of Geography Bonn in the research group Verne since March 2019. She teaches in Human Geography, and researches on urban mobility, global policies and the infrastructuration of air.

During her doctorate, Malve was a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Human Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt. In her dissertation, she dealt with the globally circulating policy model Bus Rapid Transit and its implementation in Dar es Salaam. From 2014 until 2017, Malve held a scholarship from Hans Böckler foundation and was a member of the graduate school URBANgrad (TU Darmstadt).

Malve holds a B.A. in Area Studies Asia/Africa and Human Geography (2011) and an M.A. in Urban Geography (2014), both from Humboldt University Berlin. She also studied at the State University of Zanzibar and Université Rennes II. She wrote her B.A. thesis on gender relations in contemporary Kiswahili literature and her M.A. thesis on transitional processes of Johannesburg’s (in-)formal recycling system.

She acquired experiences also in other research institutes (e.g. Leibniz-Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning/Erkner and Department of Transport Geography/HU Berlin), and worked in the fields of politics, planning and consulting (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy/Nairobi, Neighbourhood management Ganghoferstraße/Berlin, Chipua Institute for Social Transformation/Dar es Salaam, Deutsche Welle/Bonn).




2020  Assembling Bus Rapid Transit in the Global South: Translating global models, materialising infrastructure politics. London: Routledge.


Peer reviewed articles

2021   Co-producing urban transport systems: adapting a global model in Dar es Salaam In: Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 17:1, 47-61.

2020   Disciplining Bus Rapid Transit in Dar es Salaam. In: Anthropolitan. Special Issue: Complex[c]ity – Change. Powers. Life. Gefka e.V. (ed.): Institute for Cultural Anthropology & European Ethnology, Goethe-University Frankfurt. (accepted)

2015   Schnellbusse auf der Überholspur. Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit als Wegbereiter nachhaltiger urbaner Mobilität?. In: RaumPlanung (182/6-2015) & TRIALOG (120/121-2/2015), 66-73.


Book chapters

2018   Unemployment Benefit Recipients. Causes, Reactions and Consequences of Housing Relocations. (with N. Grotefendt, T. Kohlsdorf & L. Wegener) In: Helbrecht, I. (ed.): Gentrification and Resistance. Researching Displacement Processes and Adaptation Strategies. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 161-187.

2016   Die Wohnsituation von ALG II Empfänger_innen in Berlin. Prozesse wenn der Umzug naht. 
(with N. Grotefendt, T. Kohlsdorf & L. Wegener) In: Helbrecht, I. (ed.): Gentrifizierung in Berlin. Verdrängungsprozesse und Bleibestrategien. Bielefeld: transcript, 185-213.


2020   Konzeptentwicklung für eine kritische Exkursionsdidaktik für Studienanfänger*innen in der Geographie. (with Katja Thiele): Bonner Zentrum für Hochschullehre – Zertifikatsprogramm Professionelle Lehrkompetenz für die Hochschule. Bonn: University of Bonn.

2018   Pedestrian Mobility for Urban Growth. Walking and its Links to Transportation. Practical Guidance and Good Practice Examples. (together with Carrigan, Aileen; Julie Babinard; Michael King; Christopher Kost; Jacob Mason; Luc Nadal and Christopher Van Eyken): Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank. 

2017   Temporalities of Assembling Transport Systems. Presences and Absences in an Intermittent Process. In: Mewes, J. S. & E. Sørensen (ed.): Ethnographies of Objects in Science and Technology Studies. Ruhr-University Bochum, 52-64.

2013–2014   Collectors between Formality and Informality (Johannesburg), Bottle Collectors in Public Urban Space (Berlin). Blog The (in)formal city (with Tebogo Ramatlo)

2010   „Wir wollen den Besten für Tansania“. Deutsche Welle, Afrika.ür-tansania/a-6161388 


Selected talks

09/2019: When the Travelling Model Arrives: Adaptation and Resistance in Global Infrastructure Planning (Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, Kiel)

09/2019: When Transport Infrastructures Encounter Water: Perspectives from the Indian Ocean Coast (invited talk at Vellore Institute of Technology)

02/2019: Assembling Bus Rapid Transit in Dar es Salaam: Global Planning, Effective Controversies and the Production of Success (Defense, Goethe Universität Frankfurt)

01/2019: Bus Rapid Transit: Disziplinierende Technologie oder ‘modernes Minibus-System’? (Neue Kulturgeographie XVI, Eichstätt)

01/2018: Gathering ‘Global Forms’: Materialisations of a Globally Circulating Transport Model (Neue Kulturgeographie XV, Freiburg)

08/2017: Global Consultants in the Global South: Expertise, Ideology and Development Aid (RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London)

02/2017: Global Circulations of ‘Successful’ Transport Systems: Bus Rapid Transit Travelling to Dar es Salaam (Department of Human Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt)

11/2016: Mass Rapid Transit: Options for East African Cities (Sustainable Transport in East Africa Conference, Nairobi, with Achieng Abira)

11/2016: The Global Making of Bus Rapid Transit. Is DART a Success? (Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, Nairobi)

09/2016: Assembling Bus Rapid Transit: Planning Controversies of the Material and Operational (4S/EAAST Conference: Science and Technology by Other Means, Barcelona)

03/2016: Approaching the Objects Themselves: Methodological Theorisations of Global BRT Models (Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, San Francisco)
06/2015: The Global Making of Bus Rapid Transit Systems (URBANgrad, Technical University Darmstadt)
03/2015: Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit: The User as Co-Producer? (PhD Training Week: Decentralizing Infrastructures in East Africa, Dar es Salaam)



Certificate "Professional Teaching Competence for Higher Education" (awarded by Bonner Zentrum für Hochschullehre/University of Bonn in July 2020:

Malve Jacobsen supervises bachelor and master theses dealing with questions of human geography - in particular on (global) mobility, infrastructure politics, urban studies, South-North and South-South relations, and relationships between humans, technologies and nature.

Summer term 2020:

Humangeographie Aufbau (Seminar)

Winter term 2019/2020:

Humangeographie Aufbau (Seminar)

Globale Mobilitäten (Projektseminar)

Summer term 2019:

Humangeographie Aufbau (Seminar)



Teaching at Goethe University Frankfurt:

Summer term 2018: (Post-)Kolonialismus: Geographische Perspektiven (Seminar, Bachelor Geography)

Winter term 2017/18: The Work of Global Production (Reading Course, Bachelor Geography)

Summer term 2017: (Post-)Koloniale Geographien (Seminar, with Alev Coban, Bachelor Geography)

Summer term 2016: Geographien des Globalen Südens (Seminar, with Alev Coban, Bachelor Geography)



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