Transport planning practices developed in the global North during period of economic prosperity in 1950’s and 60’s to assist the large-scale construction of the inter- and intra-city freeways and major roadways with particular attention paid to the efficiency, economy and safety of private vehicles.
This planning system is currently faced with a number of difficulties, such as congestion, GHG emissions and local air pollutants, noise, increasing injury and fatality rates in road accidents and a rapid exhaustion of resources. Hence, a comprehensive long-term transport policy must address the associated economic, social and environmental impacts in a series of technological and institutional changes in order to achieve a more sustainable transport system.
Four different tactics can be applied to the current transport system planning to achieve the desired technological and institutional reforms:
a) Increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact of vehicles through improvement to existing technologies and development of new low-carbon fuel and vehicle technologies;
b) Promoting and incentivizing sustainable modes of travel such as public transport, car-share clubs, cycling and walking, as well as increasing or introducing road and fossil-fuel tax;
c) Lowering the need to travel via efficient and innovative urban planning and mobility management;
d) Developing social awareness on external costs of transport such as environmental impacts and advocating positive social life-style changes.
Transport is currently heavily reliant on petroleum, a finite energy source with direct correlation to GHG emissions, for 95% of its total energy use approximately half of total world oil consumption with diesel providing 31% and gasoline 47%. In 2003, transport sector contributed 23% to the world’s total carbon emission at 6.3 GtCO2. Three quarters of the latter figure was due to road transport which in GHG emission terms adds up to...