Chapter 4 - The Built Environment

Part 6 - Sustainable Transportation I

The twentieth century rise of the automobile has helped shape our lives, our cities and towns, and our commerce.  Reflecting on this history as we look ahead will help us design practical and efficient transportation systems, that maintain and improve quality of life, while minimizing impacts to our already degraded environment. A shift in our energy future that will become a reality in a few decades as we reach peak oil and liquid fuels become more challenged, demands our attention and our creativity. 

Our built environment will change with the change in methods and modes of transportation that will be driven by our energy future. Efficiencies in transportation will require design of a built environment that serves the needs of a growing population and their requirements for mobility and the commerce that serves them. Transportation costs will most certainly rise with the increased costs of energy that are predicted in our near future. Hence, we must have solution in design and technology that allows for a high quality of life with a more sustainable transportation system.

New ideas are surfacing and new approaches meeting the goals of sustainable transportation are beginning to take shape across the globe.  We have much to learn and even more to discover, as we move ourselves into our transportation future. 

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(Photo credit: "Heavy Traffic" Drouu, 2008)