Dr. Cosmin Popan

Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Cosmin Popan


Cosmin Popan is a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow whose project, 'Doing gig work: Social implications of platform-based food deliveries' (2020-2023), investigates the gig economy and its reconfiguration of urban spaces. His research focuses on the management, solidarity and resistance of cycle couriers in three European cities: Manchester, Lyon (France) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania).


Since joining Manchester Metropolitan University in 2018, Cosmin has been involved in the project Gendered Cycling Cultures and, more recently, he worked as a Research Associate on the Horizon 2020 pan-European cross-disciplinary programme MiCreate. This project is concerned with stimulating the inclusion of diverse groups of migrant children at policy and educational levels.

Cosmin holds a doctorate in Sociology from Lancaster University, which investigated the broader social, political and cultural processes through which cycling could expand into dominant mobility replacing the system of automobility. The results of his PhD research were published by Routledge as a book monograph titled Bicycle Utopias (2019).

Research Interests

Mobilities studies, cycling, digital sociology, zemiology and social movements.

Research Activity


  • Popan, C. (2020) Fast and Slow Cycling Utopias, Utopian Studies, 31(1)
  • Spinney, J. and Popan, C. (2020) Mobilising Street Culture: Understanding the Implications of the Shift from Lifestyle Bike Messengers to Gig Economy Workers, Routledge Handbook of Street Culture, Routledge
  • Popan, C. (2019) Bicycle Utopias. Imagining Fast and Slow Cycling Futures, Routledge
  • Popan, C. et al. (2017) ‘How Sharing Can Contribute to More Sustainable Cities’ Sustainability 9(5):701, 1-16
  • Popan, C. et al. (2017) ‘Dataset of the liveability performance of the city of Birmingham, UK, as measured by its citizen wellbeing, resource security, resource efficiency and carbon emissions’ Data in Brief, 15, 691–695

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