Transport for Sustainable Development

The Case of Inland Transport

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This study examines issues, progress and challenges in global efforts to achieve sustainable mobility of freight and people using inland modes of transport. While transport is a precondition for social and economic interactions, it has negative impacts (crashes, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions). The study identifies main challenges and opportunities to accelerate transition to sustainability. It promotes an understanding of the five defining dimensions of sustainable transport - accessibility, affordability, safety, security and environmental performance. It brings theoretical insights and best practices from around the world and maps similarities and differences among countries in their efforts towards sustainability.



General trends controlling transport growth and demand

Transport sustainability is controlled by socio-economic, demographic and environmental megatrends, i.e. major shifts in economic, social and environmental conditions that can impact people at all levels and transform societies. In recent decades, large sections of the global society have benefited from market access and the dissemination of knowledge and technology, but others remain marginalized. Stronger trade and investment links have augmented global interdependence, but also increased the contagion risks from a financial crisis. Disparate population and economic growth dynamics have resulted in greater income inequalities, whereas environmental degradation has worsened due to non-sustainable production and consumption patterns. At the same time, long term climatic changes and extreme weather events (SREX, 2012; IPCC, 2013) can result in large transport infrastructure damages and costs (UNECE, 2013), and undermine efforts to achieve sustainable development.


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