The goal of this paper is to investigate transportation infrastructure sustainability from a wider standpoint. A sustainable transportation infrastructure can be defined as a safe, efficient, economic, environmentally friendly infrastructure meeting the needs of presentday users without compromising those of future generations. This concept involves environmental, economic and societal aspects. In more detail, as for a road, a sustainable infrastructure or pavement must comply with environmental, economic and social requirements. Unfortunately, even if a definition of a sustainable pavement for urban or suburban areas can be easily proposed, the proposal of practical strategies to really pursue sustainability goals is sometimes disregarded in favour of emphatic announces of not well defined sustainable solutions. In the light of the above facts, the sustainability of a transportation infrastructure based on the actual environmental, social and economic characteristics is discussed in this paper. Once the main factors which can influence infrastructure sustainability are assessed, an analysis is performed in order to set out practical strategies for pursuing the main objective. Finally an experimental investigation is designed and carried out in order to assess porous asphalt value in terms of pavement sustainability. The tests carried out are promising about the possibility of achieving suitable levels of overall performance. Practical applications and perspectives in rehabilitation, maintenance, and research are outlined.
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