What the hell is it?
When TransportiCA formed, we had a simple directive to be incredibly educational for anyone seeking to strengthen their understanding of sustainable transportation. In accomplishing this, we are posting on this page a new term every week that deals with, or relates to sustainable transportation and respective fields - infrastructure and resiliency, energy and policy, transit-oriented development, smart growth and smart cities, shared mobility services, intelligent transportation systems, and many others.
To better define this concept, we list three versions of 'sustainable transportation.'
The University of Plymouth (UK) Centre for Sustainable Transport integrates the Triple-Bottom Line in a systems 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 to the sustainable yield level, reuses and recycles its components, and minimizes the use of land and the production of noise."
From its first Sustainability report (Dec. 2016), the California High-Speed Rail Authority provides that sustainable transportation is, "transportation that does not rely on the use of fossil fuels" (p.49).
Inclusive, as well, of a systems approach and the Triple-Bottom Line, in addition to resiliency in infrastructure, TransportiCA defines sustainable transportation as: "Resilient mobility whose input (energy) is renewably-based, financial operations are secure and continuous, and output (emissions) is negative and/or minimal on the cultural, social and natural systems affected by such mobility."
While there is no universal denotation, we hope these three versions better assist you with your understanding of sustainable transportation.
Lastly, we do need to note, it is TransportiCA's belief that any organization who uses the term "sustainability," "sustainable," and/or "sustainable transportation," without providing a definition or reference to such association or a connotation, is simply "greenwashing."
If you can think of anything add, feel free to email them to us at: features[at]transportica.info.