10 principles for Sustainable Transport



This image is taken from the Sustainable Transport Magazine, Issue 22, 10 Dec 2010.  The full document can be downloaded.  And I would like to start my discussion by visual-analysing this very image.

The first thing I notice from this image is that all of the 10 principles are portrayed with at least 3-4 stories of artistically-designed buildings.  I am sure each of you will have your own opinion.  Mine will start with these questions:

  • Why those [at least 3-4 stories] buildings have to be there in each principle?
  • If the “at least 3-4 stories” image suggests an urban image, is sustainable transportation a problem specific in urban areas?
  • Alternatively, is sustainable transportation can only be addressed in urban areas?
  • Isn’t there sustainable transportation problems in rural areas too?

The list can be longer than that.  But we may need to question how we define sustainable transportion itself.  Well, I do not have the exact asnwer, but I can offer automobile dependence and equity as the cores of the problems of our unsustainable transportation. I am not saying that the 10 principles are wrong.  But, with the help of its design graphics, the 10 principles have sent an inaccurate message.

Automobile dependence and equity happen everywhere wherever people live.  It is not associated to a certain location.  But I agree, the higher population density does make a transportation problem more complex, like what happens in urban areas.  But urban area itself is not the boundary of the problems of automobile dependence and equity.

Understanding how people perceive sustainable transportation and how people make decision in their daily travel is among the crucial aspects that can lead to the solutions of our current transportation problems.  And when I say people is us human being everywhere on earth no matter where we live.  Sustainable transportation is a goal shared with others, and it is our responsibility together to achieve that goal.


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