Sustainable transport

What is sustainable transport?

City trams

The Centre for Sustainable Transportation (University of Winnipeg) definition...

“A sustainable transportation system is one that:
• Allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations.
• Is affordable, operates efficiently, offers choice of transport mode, and supports a vibrant economy.
• Limits emissions and waste within the planet's ability to absorb them, minimizes consumption of non-renewable resources, limits consumption of renewable resources to the sustainable yield level, reuses and recycles its components, and minimizes the use of land and the production of noise.”

The issues we face

The International Transport Forum's research findings report 'Transport and Energy: The Challenge of Climate Change' informs us of the following statistics:

Transport is responsible for 13% of all anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and 23% of world CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. These emissions are set to double over the next 40 years.

Cars account for half of transport CO2 emissions and ownership worldwide is expected to triple between 2000 and 2050.

Air passenger traffic is expected to be 2.5 times higher in 2025 than in 2005 — air cargo traffic, three times higher.

Shipping volumes doubled from 1985 to 2007 and the container sector is expected to triple from 2000 to 2020.

Road transport accounts for the largest part of CO2 emissions from the transport sector and will remain the case in the coming decades despite more rapid growth in shipping and aviation.

Further problems include: environmental impacts of traffic congestion and further road building in an attempt to alleviate the problem; consumption of non-renewable resources (e.g. oil); noise; fragmented inefficient and expensive public transport.

What about solutions? To name but a few: reducing travel and commuting by home working, car sharing, cycling and walking; providing reliable, frequent and integrated public transport systems; production and use of energy efficient, low pollution vehicles; using local resources (e.g. lower food miles, use of locally recycled materials).

Check out the resources provided in the following section for more information...

FURTHER INFORMATION

Sustainable transport / sustainable mobility information

  • Visioning and Backcasting for Transport Policy in the UK (VIBAT UK)
    The Vibat UK study examines the possibilities of reducing transport emissions in the UK by 60 per cent to 2030 through a modified backcasting and scenario-building approach. Study reports can be downloaded from the VIBAT website. www.vibat.org/vibat_uk/index.shtml
    VIBAT global website: www.vibat.org/index.shtml
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
    The OECD proceedings of the 'Towards Sustainable Transportation' conference (1996) albeit rather dated, provides useful background information on transport statistics and Draft Sustainable Transportation Principles.
    Download proceedings (pdf)
  • OECD Environmentally Sustainable Transport Project
    A project developing a vision of what might constitute environmentally sustainable transport to help guide policy debate about the future of transport activity. EST Project information
  • Car Free
    Carfree UK was formed by a group of planners, architects, researchers and campaigners who recognised the potential for growth of 'carfree oases' large new residential areas in accessible urban locations which exclude motor traffic, and replace parking with green and social spaces. It aims to research and promote such communities and to work with politicians, developers, campaign groups and potential residents to see their growth in the UK's cities. www.carfree.org.uk/

Green transport organisations

  • Ecological Transport Association
    The ETA aims to raise awareness of the impact of excessive car use and help individuals and organisations to make positive changes in their travel habits. eta.co.uk
  • Sustrans
    The charity behind the National Cycle Network and many other projects working on practical and imaginative solutions to the transport challenges affecting us all. www.sustrans.org.uk
  • Campaign for Better Transport
    Since 1973 have been helping to create transport policies and programmes that aim to give people better lives. The Campaign for Better Transport work to make good transport ideas a reality and stop bad ones from happening through high-level lobbying and strong public campaigning. www.bettertransport.org.uk
  • Cyclists Touring Club
    CTC is the UK and Ireland’s largest and longest established national cycling membership organisation. www.ctc.org.uk
  • Carplus
    Carplus is a national charity promoting responsible car use. http://www.carplus.org.uk/

Car Share

  • Freewheelers
    Freewheelers provide an on-line database for people offering or requiring lifts in the UK. It is free and only available via the Internet. www.freewheelers.co.uk
  • Liftshare.com
    Lift share links drivers and passengers together online - free to use you simply share the travel costs. www.liftshare.com/uk/
  • Carfree UK
    Carfree UK was formed by a group of planners, architects, researchers and campaigners who recognised the potential for growth of 'carfree oases' large new residential areas in accessible urban locations which exclude motor traffic, and replace parking with green and social spaces. It aims to research and promote such communities and to work with politicians, developers, campaign groups and potential residents to see their growth in the UK's cities. www.carfree.org.uk/
  • World Carfree Network
    World Carfree Network is the hub of the global carfree movement, which promotes alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning, and works to improve quality of life for all. www.worldcarfree.net/