Chapter 4 - The Built Environment

Part 7 - Sustainable Transportation II

It’s clear that our current transportation future must be changed to one that is more sustainable. We highly depend on fossil fuels, producing significant amounts of emissions, and we have made little progress in changing our habits in a system dominated by internal combustion and ever increasing costs of transportation.  Though there are many barriers that must be overcome to produce any change - our current culture and approaches to transportation are not sustainable - and therefore must be changed.  

Looking toward the future, both air and passenger train transport are predicted to increase in the next 50 years.  The US has long surpassed domestic oil production with our rate of consumption, and the end of the petroleum era is likely in our children’s future.  Our need for sustainable transportation to support positive economic and social development – and to maintain a good quality of life, is great.  Greater still is our need for creativity, new knowledge, and innovation that will accelerate us toward that most ambitious goal.   


Suggested Reading

  1. USEPA Overview of Air Pollution from Transportation: Sources and Solutions Info-graphic

    2. Union of Concerned Scientists (2018) What Are Electric Cars? EV Emissions as Gasoline MPG Equivalent

Photo credit: Jason Tester, 2011.