Stockholm Environment Institute
University of York
Presented in October 2007 - National Transport Conference - London
There are two ways of embarking on a discussion of sustainability in transport. One is primarily concerned with defining sustainability (usually through a discussion of climate change) and then detailing the seriously unsustainable trends we are currently experiencing and finishing with a flourish about how we could change trajectory and solve the problem through some serious policy changes. This route is well rehearsed in the transport policy literature and has had no impact whatsoever on changing trends. The other approach is to exploit the very large scenario literature, backcasting methodology and “visioning” tools that exist and paint a picture of what things could be like and how we would get there. In this paper I will explore this second approach and define sustainability and its links with transport through a vision of a future that is not very far away. This future will be presented as a picture of transport in the UK in 2030. This possible future, I will argue, has to be rooted in sustainability and this in turn requires a strongly practical integration of sustainability into the transport sector.