Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.
The advantages of increased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and economic costs that transport systems pose.
But the real purpose of transport is access – to work, education, goods and services, friends and family – and there are proven techniques to improve access while simultaneously reducing environmental and social impacts, and managing traffic congestion. Communities which are successfully improving the sustainability of their transport networks are doing so as part of a wider program of creating more vibrant, livable, sustainable cities.
The social costs of transport include road crashes, air pollution, physical inactivity, time taken away from the family while commuting and vulnerability to fuel price increases. Traffic congestion imposes economic costs by wasting people’s time and by slowing the delivery of goods and services.
Transport systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.