Inderscience Publishers

Long-term scenarios for surface transport

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Current trends in transport indicate that the system is moving away from a sustainable development (e.g., due to rising CO2 emissions), and that major changes in technology and public policy, as well as in the behaviour of individuals, are necessary to make the transport system more compatible with environmental sustainability. This indicates the need to assess a set of future images for transport in relation to the environment. In this paper, reference and expert scenarios, which can act as a judgement framework for a sustainable transport system, are constructed on the basis of the recently developed 'spider model'. Based on a set of distinct characteristics of a transport system, represented by eight axes in the spatial, institutional, economic and social psychological field, an evaluation framework is constructed, which visualises the driving forces that largely influence the future of the transport system. There are several directions in which these factors may develop, and each of them will separately or in combination lead to entirely different transport systems. In this way, many scenarios can be constructed by connecting points on the successive axes. Such scenarios may range from market-oriented to regulatory pictures; the first may lead to a transport system in which individual, the second in which collective modes of transport dominate. Next, expected and desired scenarios are constructed from the opinions of Dutch transport experts, who responded to a nationwide survey. The expected scenario indicates that many current trends will continue, while the transport system is largely the same as the current one. The desired scenario, on the other hand, gives a more collective system, in which also many new modes are operating. The conclusion is that there are many roads for achieving a sustainable transport system, but that whichever one is chosen, it will be hard to follow.

Keywords: transport scenarios, sustainable transport, public policy, environment, technological change, sustainable development, sustainability, vehicle emissions, CO2 emissions, carbon dioxide emissions, environmental pollution

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