Sustainable transportation

From feet to wheels and machines and back to feet

Authored by: Preston L. Schiller

Routledge Handbook of the History of Sustainability

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138685796
eBook ISBN: 9781315543017
Adobe ISBN:


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The history of sustainable transportation (ST) is also the history of unsustainable transportation—especially in the modern era. Transportation is about the movement of people, goods, and information. It is about modes and why certain ones have gained dominance—even at great environmental and social costs—while some less harmful ones have been neglected or only recently re-emphasized. It is also about the ways in which modes interacted with available technologies and infrastructure and social and cultural expectations. As with many other aspects of the history of sustainability, it is about how human society has developed in ways that are environmentally, socially, and economically unsustainable—and about the recent efforts to interrupt or reverse that damaging and destructive trajectory. More recently it is about amplifying aspects of transportation that are healthy and helpful to society and micro and macro levels. The terms “sustainable mobility” and “sustainable accessibility” are coming into use, although “sustainable transportation” appears to be the most widely used label in this field.

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