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As discussed in Chap. 3, the transportation system is often envisioned as the engine of development. It is seen as the backbone of the twentieth century’s economic and social progress and is the means by which humans access goods and services and connect to communities. Yet, it is also a major contributor to environmental degradation and community disruption, which is often inequitably distributed. The falling costs and increasing efficiency of the transportation system have enabled the emergence of the throughput society (see Sect. 2.3). The ease with which materials and goods can be moved within and between nations has transformed the structure of national economies, enabling connectivity across the world. This process is further enhanced by the global emergence of information and communication technology (ICT). The complexity unleashed by the integration of regional and national economies means that tracing who or what is responsible for negative externalities is not a simple question to ask or answer. With the possibility of two billion vehicles on the horizon (Sperling and Gordon 2010) and growing mobility trends around the world, the challenges presented by transportation are likely to command public attention for the foreseeable future.
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Source: The United Nations Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=97&ArticleID=1503 (accessed on April 19, 2015).
See, for example, the 2013 report by the UN-Habitat on “Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility: Global Report on Human Settlements.”
These objectives were supported by a call for public awareness campaigns and human resource development to highlight and support the need for change (UN 1993, § 7.53).
Chapters 7 and 9 of Agenda 21 had an influential role in shaping the President’s Council on Sustainable Development’s (PCSD’s) approach to transportation discussed in Sect. 4.2.3. Specifically, the PCSD ( 1996b, 1999) considered transportation in the context of sustainable communities and global climate change.
Source: The United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=78&ArticleID=1163 (accessed on April 19, 2015).
For a summary of the latest European work on sustainable transportation, see the European Commission, Sustainable Transport , http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/sustainable/index_en.htm (accessed on April 19, 2015).
The ten national goals for promoting sustainable development were grouped under the following headings: (1) Health and the Environment; (2) Economic Prosperity; (3) Equity; (4) Conservation of Nature; (5) Stewardship; (6) Sustainable Communities; (7) Civic Engagement; (8) Population; (9) International Responsibility; and (10) Education (PCSD 1996b).
Three recommendations put forward by the Climate Change Action Plan focused on transportation. These were to (1) provide workers with the option to cash-in the value of their employer-paid parking spaces to pay for commuting alternatives to the automobile; (2) reduce VMT; and (3) create a tire labeling program to help consumers identify tires that have low rolling resistance (Clinton and Gore 1993).
See, for example, the 1999 Clinton–Gore Livable Communities Initiative, http://clinton3.nara.gov/CEQ/livability.html (accessed on April 19, 2015) and the 2009 HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html (accessed on April 19, 2015), and the FHWA’s Livability Initiative, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/ (accessed on April 19, 2015).
See the US DOT Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse, http://climate.dot.gov/ (accessed on April 19, 2015).
The EST project consisted of six teams of experts from nine countries. Each team focused on one of the following geographic regions—Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, the Quebec-Windsor corridor in Canada, the greater Oslo region in Norway, and the Alpine region that consisted of parts of Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
In a paper reviewing the main results of the OECD EST project, Caid et al. ( 2002, p. 220) present a slightly revised EST definition that includes a fourth component: “provides for safe, economically viable, and socially acceptable access to people, places, goods, and services” (p. 220). Caid et al.’s ( 2002) addition to the EST definition and the European Council’s revision of the CST definition (discussed below) provide good examples of how definitions of sustainable transportation are seldom fixed and are continually evolving.
The urbanrural nexus (that can be characterized as consisting of flows of urbanrural people, goods, and services) was a key topic of conversation during the deliberations of the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs (IISD 2014). In particular, the OWG discussed the link that transportation provides between rural and urban areas and how the two are interdependent. The overriding concern was to ensure that any targets developed would not position urban and rural areas against one another, given their “common destiny” (IISD 2014, p. 7). It is noteworthy that the OWG choose not to differentiate between the urban and rural setting in their recommended targets (see Table 4.1).
The six targets focus on improving rural access, improving urban access, improving national access and regional connectivity, improving road safety and security, reducing air pollution, and reducing emissions (SLoCat 2014a).
The Bogota Declaration that was adopted at the Regional Sustainable Transport Forum in Bogota, held on June 23–24, 2011, provides a more nuanced version of this definition. It defines sustainable transportation as “the provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods needed for economic and social development and improved quality of life and competitiveness. These services and transport infrastructure provide secure, reliable, economical, efficient, equitable and affordable access to all, while mitigating the negative impacts on health and the environment locally and globally, in the short, medium and long term without compromising the development of future generations” (FTS 2011, p. 1).
In practice, however, only the first four of these types of capital are considered in any detail due to the difficulty in measuring social capital.
The elegance of market mechanisms is that a government would not be required to determine how the burden of staying within ecological and resource-use limits should be divided between sectors. Instead, the trading mechanisms would (theoretically) allocate these burdens in the most economically efficient manner.
The tight interconnection between natural and manufactured capital means that if the use of natural capital is constrained, so too is the development of manufactured capital. However, to what extent the development of manufactured capital is constrained will depend upon whether a weak or strong form of sustainable development is applied (see Sect. 2.3).
Source: The Natural Capital Project, http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/ (accessed on April 19, 2015).
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- Transportation and Sustainability
Ralph P. Hall
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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