Sustainable transportation – alternative perspectives and enduring challenges

This paper provides a discussion centred on the notion of ‘sustainable transportation’ as a concept for transportation academics and practitioners. Sustainable transportation broadly reflects the principles of sustainable development in the transportation sector. As with the broader notion of sustainability, there are several alternative perspectives on the definition, application, and value of the concept. The paper discusses key topics pertaining to the notion of sustainable transportation and how it is currently understood and applied. These include (1) concepts related to sustainability/sustainable development as a whole, including conflicts between approaches and definitions of sustainability, (2) an exploration of sustainable transportation and how it is addressed by the transportation sector, and (3) the use of indicators to apply sustainability concepts. The authors then identify several challenges that complicate the progress towards sustainable transportation – including issues with clearly defining the term, cross-cutting nature of the problem, inherent conflicts in sustainability, the multitudes of frameworks and metrics available, the politics of sustainability, and alternative discourses that exist in transportation practice. Based on their own research in this area, the authors conclude with recommendations for an overarching framework to address these issues. The authors propose an approach that is context-specific, outcome-focused, and holistic to tackle the enduring challenges of sustainable transportation.


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  • Accession Number: 01666475
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 4 2018 3:03PM