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Sustainable Transport

Sustainable Transport

Sustainable Transport is the use of transport systems, facilities and services to meet human needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own. It includes a wide range of measures that address the choice and use of vehicles and their fuels, the source of energy for transportation systems and the design of infrastructure to optimize resource efficiency.

It also aims to limit negative impacts on the environment and human health. For example, urban transportation networks should be designed to promote mobility, safety and equity through a mix of sustainable modes of transport such as public transit, walking and cycling. Furthermore, the construction of infrastructure should take environmental and socio-economic factors into consideration. The need for sustainable transport has been recognized by global institutions such as the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

In fact, the transport sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Its emissions are growing at an average rate of 0.8 percent per year. Moreover, passenger car transportation represents the highest share of these emissions. The industry is not taking significant steps to reduce these emissions.

The goal of sustainable transport is to build and operate transport systems and infrastructures that are environmentally friendly, socially inclusive, technologically advanced, productive and efficient. In order to achieve this, it is crucial for all stakeholders to collaborate in the planning, design, tendering, procurement, construction and operation of infrastructures.

A comprehensive framework must be adopted by all stakeholders to ensure that infrastructure projects satisfy sustainability criteria. This holistic approach should be based on the four common sustainability dimensions: environmental, social, institutional and economic. It should also include clear performance indicators and targets, proper organizational design, digital tools, a common approach and cooperation among all stakeholders.

To ensure the viability of transport infrastructure projects, it is essential to have a clear definition of sustainability that addresses all aspects of the project life cycle. This is particularly important for infrastructure projects that are long-term in nature. The most effective way to achieve this is through a value-based management approach that integrates the principles of sustainable transport into all phases of an infrastructure project.

The main objective of a value-based management approach is to increase the level of performance and quality of a project. This is accomplished through the integration of environmental, social and institutional factors into all stages of a project. This approach provides an opportunity to reduce project costs while maintaining a high level of performance.

It is also necessary to improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure, notably through the use of smart solutions and digital technologies to minimize energy consumption. Examples of these smart solutions include the installation of charging infrastructure for electric cars, as well as the optimization of road maintenance through data analytics. For air transport, the use of biofuels and the Single European Sky initiative can help reduce air emissions. Lastly, the use of multimodal transportEN***, which involves the combination of different transport modes throughout the entire journey, can also reduce the carbon footprint.