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Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the

needs of the present without compromising the ability of future


generations to meet their own needs ( Brundtland Report (World
Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)

The three components of sustainability

Environm
ent

Society

Economy

How transportation affects the components of sustainability


Economic
Traffic congestion
Mobility barriers
Accident damages
Facility costs

Social
Inequity of impacts
Mobility disadvantaged
Human health impacts
Community interaction

Environmental
Air and water pollution
Habitat loss
Hydrologic impacts
Depletion
of
nonrenewable resources

Consumer costs
Community liveability
Depletion
of
non- Aesthetics
renewable resources

Sustainable transportation
In a society in which transportation is sustainable, people have at least as
much access to goods, services, and social opportunities as they have
today, particularly people who are economically disadvantaged or who
face unusual physical challenges. But the ways in which this access is
achieved may be quite different.
1. Non-motorized transportation:
Much more of the access
depends on widespread use of non-motorized means such as
Walking, bicycling, roller-blading.

2. Motorized transportation by current means: Some access


depends on motorized transportation systems but use very much
less energy and pollute much less. There is more public transport,
because it is encouraged by the layout and design of urban regions
and because owning and using a car costs much more.
3. Motorized transportation by potential means: Some access
depends on the use of quite different technologies like fuel cells
using renewable resources such as hydrogen produced with solar
energy, intelligent transportation systems, automated highways,
maglev rail services, and airship technologies. Together they provide
cleaner, more conserving, and safer movement of people and
goods.
4. Movement of goods: The movement of goods utilizes modes of
transport appropriate to the size and distance of shipment and to
the minimization of resulting emissions.
5. Less need for movement of people and goods: Whatever the
mode, journeys made by motorized transport are shorter, for the
movement of both people and goods in part because urban areas
are more compact and have a good mix of uses. More access is
achieved through telecommunications, with less movement of
people or goods.
6. Little or no impact on the environment and on human
health: The net result is dramatically lower local and global impacts
of transportation on the environment.

Economic
Social
Provide cost-effective Meet
basic
human
service and capacity
needs
for
health,
comfort,
and
convenience in ways
that do not stress the
social fabric
Be
financially Provide
for
a
affordable
in
each reasonable choice of
generation
transport modes, types
of
housing
and
community, and living
styles
Support
vibrant, Produce no more noise
sustainable economic than is acceptable by

Environmental
Make use of land in a
way that has little or
no impact on the
integrity
of
ecosystems.
Use sparingly energy
sources
that
are
essentially
not
renewable
or
inexhaustible
Use other resources
that are renewable or

activity

communities

inexhaustible, achieved
in part through the
reuse of items and the
recycling of materials
used in vehicles and
infrastructure
Be safe for people and Produce
no
more
their property
emissions and waste
than
can
be
accommodated by the
planet's
restorative ability

Achieving sustainability
Conventional planning tends to assume that transport progress is linear,
consisting of newer, faster modes that displace older, slower modes as
illustrated below.
Walk Bicycle Train Bus Automobile Improved automobiles
This series model assumes that the older modes are unimportant, and so,
for example, there is no harm if increasing automobile traffic causes
congestion delay to public transit or creates a barrier to pedestrian travel.
Sustainable reflects a parallel model, which assumes that each mode can
be useful, and strives to create balanced transport systems that use each
mode for what it does best. Transport progress therefore involves
improving all useful modes, not just the newest mode, as illustrated
below. For example, in many cities, the most beneficial strategies may
involve improving walking and cycling, more support for public transit,
and restricting automobile travel in congested urban areas. This does not
assume that improved transport necessarily means faster travel or more
mileage; improvements may increase comfort and safety, provide cost
savings, or even reduce the total need for travel.
Walk Improved walking conditions
Bicycle Improved cycling conditions
Train/Bus Improved public transit service
Automobile Improved automobile travel conditions

Technological and Behavioural changes


Sustainability in transportation can be achieved by bringing out
technological as well as behavioural changes among people. Behavioural
changes are aimed to reduce the level of car use, e.g. by shifting to less
polluting modes of transport, changing destination choices, combining
trips, or travelling less. Such strategies may improve environmental
quality, urban quality of life, and destination accessibility.
Technological solutions are aimed at reducing the negative impact per car
and per kilometre. Examples include increasing the energy efficiency of
cars and developing new forms of road surface to reduce the level of
traffic noise. Such solutions do not appear to sufficiently reduce the
problems of car use, such as to make it compatible with sustainability.
Whereas new technologies are capable of substantially reducing various
emissions, other sustain-ability problems such as urban sprawl and
accessibility are rooted in a wider complex of causes for which new
technology, per se, is not a solution. For example, energy-efficient cars
may help control environmental problems, but will hardly solve
accessibility problems.
Drivers might even be tempted to use their energy efficient car more
often because it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. This
phenomenon is referred to as the rebound effect (Berkhout et al., 2000) or
the Jevons principle (OECD, 1996). Also, behavioural changes are more
difficult to be implemented compared to technological changes.