Malve Jacobsen

Dr. | Postdoctural Researcher

Malve works as a postdoc in the research group Cultural Geography at the Institute of Geography since September 2021. She teaches in Human Geography, and researches primarily on the technologization of air, urban mobility and the politics of planning.
Previously, Malve was a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Geography at University of Bonn (2019-2021) and the Department of Human Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt (2014-2019). In her dissertation, she dealt with the globally circulating policy model Bus Rapid Transit and its implementation in Dar es Salaam. Malve held a scholarship from Hans Böckler foundation (2014-2018) 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.

In her postdoctoral project "The Infrastructuration of Urban Air", Malve focuses on the increasing political importance of air quality. In Indian and European cities, she explores questions of environmental justice. She examines how air is being transformed from a collective to an exclusive commodity, and how technologies replace and support green infrastructures in measuring, processing and distributing air.
Malve is interested in debates of 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 India, European metropolitan regions and East Africa. She works with methods of qualitative social research and combines these with ethnographic perspectives.


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

Articles (Peer reviewed)

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

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. (with Carrigan, A.; J. Babinard; M. King; C, Kost; J. Mason; L. Nadal and C. 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

09/2021 Digitized Natures (Workshop at Humangeographische Sommerschule "Digital Geographies" at University Erlangen/Nuremberg - online, together with Astrid Matejcek, Julia Poerting, Julian Rochlitz, Julia Verne and Oleg Zurmühlen)

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 (eingeladener Vortrag, Vellore Institute of Technology)

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

Summer term 2022

Sozialgeographie (Seminar, BSc/BEd Geographie)

Urbane Natur: Kulturgeographische Perspektiven (Seminar and Empirical Field Trip in Berlin, BSc Geographie)


Winter term 2021/22

Wirtschaftsgeographie (Seminar, BSc/BEd Geography)

Das Fahrrad in der Stadt: Kulturen – Politiken – Technologien (Seminar and Empirical Field Trip in Rhine-Main Area, BSc Geography)


Malve Jacobsen supervises bachelor and master theses dealing with questions of human geography – in particular on mobilities, infrastructure politics, urban studies, postcolonial geographies, South-North relations, and relationships between humans, technologies and nature.

If you are interested in her supervision, please contact Malve Jacobsen with a specific topic (proposal).


Malve Jacobsen received the certificate "Professional Teaching Competence for Higher Education" (awarded by Bonner Zentrum für Hochschullehre, University of Bonn, July 2020


Prior teaching at University of Bonn

Humangeographie Aufbau Part 1 (Seminar Bachelor Geography, Summer term 2020)

Humangeographie Aufbau Part 2 (Seminar Bachelor Geography, Winter term 2019/2020)

Globale Mobilitäten (Project Seminar Bachelor Geography, Winter term 2019/2020)

Humangeographie Aufbau Part 1 (Seminar Bachelor Geography, Summer term 2019)

Prior teaching at Goethe University Frankfurt

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

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

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

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