Increasingly, the debate on transport policy involves the challenge of sustainable development. The concept of sustainable transport is derived from the general term of sustainable development. Sustainable transportation can be considered by examining the sustainability of the transport system itself, focusing on its positive and negative external effects on: the environment; public health; safety and security; land use; congestion; economic growth; and social inclusion (OECD, 2000). While traditional transport problems may be solved within the transport sector (i.e. satisfying basic needs of the movement of people and goods by the provision of large scale transport networks), solutions to sustainability problems call for an integrated approach. This approach should take into account the acceptability of sustainable transport policies that may conflict with individual short-term interests, especially when individual users are asked to significantly adapt their lifestyles and transport behaviour with impacts on their perceived quality of life (Miola, 2008). Political efforts towards the sustainability of the transport sector are in place (e.g. EC, 2011). These are, however, in the context of trends which could not be called sustainable. Currently, the main trends are related to increasing mobility demand, more cars driving more and longer distances; cheaper and cheaper travel prices allowing easy access to far away places; and infrastructures and habits adjusted to road transport (EEA, 2009). As noted above public acceptability of the measures to address these trends and achieve sustainable transport is required. The paper will identify some of the difficulties faced in achieving this acceptability. Its focus, more importantly, will be on identifying positive ways forward. In terms of the review the emphasis was on literature which considered public acceptability of (sustainable) transport measures rather than the broader literature on sustainable transport per se. The aim of the review is, purposefully, a synthesis of the literature relevant to the guiding questions set out below, rather than an in-depth systematic review: o What are the negative impacts of transport to be resolved? What are the key measures identified to reduce these impacts? o What are the key themes in terms of achieving the social acceptability of the different measures? o Where has social acceptability been achieved? What can we learn from this? The approach was innovative in that it set out to compare and draw findings from a range of transport literature examining pricing, modal shift and technological change. While caution is of course required, like is not necessarily being compared with like, this approach brought a useful and different viewpoint to the understanding of the key themes as they relate to acceptability and change. The structure of the report is as follows: o Identification of the main measures to reduce transport’s impacts o Key themes for public acceptability of the different measures o Conclusions and recommendations

JRC.DDG.H.8-Sustainability Assessmen

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Published on 01/01/2011

Volume 2011, 2011
DOI: 10.1787/5kg9mq56dfs8-en
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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