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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
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Why We Should Build Smart Highways

Why We Should Build Smart Highways | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
High-speed rail is still just a dream in America. But why then aren't smart roads a reality?

 

It is possible to imagine a world in which smart pavement, smart cars, and embedded monitoring and controls would turn highways from gulches that pollute a wide swath of land around them with both particles and noise would become more like rivers.

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Via Lauren Moss
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Are Complete Streets Incomplete?

Are Complete Streets Incomplete? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The “complete streets” movement has taken the country by storm. Few movements have done so much to influence needed policy change in the transportation world- almost 300 jurisdictions in the U.S. have adopted complete streets policies or have committed to do so. This sets the stage for communities to reframe their future around people instead of cars.

But communities can't stop there. Complete streets is an engineering policy that, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition website, “ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind — including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

Getting transportation professionals to include pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users is a key first step in creating great places and livable communities. But that is not enough to make places that truly work for people — “streets as places.” The planning process itself needs to be turned upside-down...


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The sustainable city: Public transit isn't just for tree-huggers

The sustainable city: Public transit isn't just for tree-huggers | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The most dynamic skyline in the world won't create a sustainable city. Only a population that enjoys physical, social, political, and economic health — resources that functioning cities are uniquely positioned to deliver — can do that.

Of course, no single solution will achieve this unilaterally. A city with thriving, educated residents is produced by a combination of various civil and social services and infrastructure — including an established and expanding mass transit system.

Why is transit so important? Simply put, it provides access to the city's aforementioned resources for everyone, regardless of economic or social status. Transit helps bridge the ever-growing gap between those who can afford cars (or other private modes of transportation) and those who cannot...


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The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic

The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new study makes the fundamental case for congestion pricing...

In 1962, transportation researcher Anthony Downs suggested that U.S. cities suffered from a fundamental law of highway congestion: "This Law states that on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity." What was the case half a century ago remains true today. Except worse. In a research paper published in this month's American Economic Review, a pair of economists from the University of Toronto confirm the fundamental law of highway congestion, but argue it doesn't go far enough. 


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