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Access to people, places, goods and services is important to the social and economic well being of communities. Transportation is a key means, but not the only means, through which access can be achieved. Principle #1: Access

People are entitled to reasonable access to other people, places, goods and services.

Strategic Directions

  • Demand Management
    • Reduce the need for travel while protecting social and economic needs for access by changing urban form, promoting new communications technologies, and developing more efficient packaging etc.
  • Diversifying Options
    • Improve access by diversifying transportation options, giving people more choices as to how they meet their access needs.
People and Communities
Transportation systems are a critical element of a strong economy, but can also contribute directly to building community and enhancing quality of life. Principle #2: Equity

Nation states and the transportation community must strive to ensure social, interregional and inter-generational equity, meeting the basic transportation-related needs of all people including women, the poor, the rural, and the disabled.

Principle #3: Health and Safety

Transportation systems should be designed and operated in a way that protects the health (physical, mental and social well-being) and safety of all people, and enhances the quality of life in communities.

Principle #4: Individual Responsibility

All individuals have a responsibility to act as stewards of the natural environment, undertaking to make sustainable choices with regard to personal movement and consumption.

Principle #5: Integrated Planning

Transportation decision makers have a responsibility to pursue more integrated approaches to planning.

Strategic Directions

  • Urban Planning and Transportation Planning
    • Concentrate urban growth, limit sprawl and provide for more mixed land use through urban structure and land use policies. This would reduce demand (especially for automobile trips) by moving origins and destinations closer together and also help reduce habitat destruction and loss of agricultural and recreational lands.
    • Give priority to less polluting, lower impact modes of transportation in the design of transportation systems and urban areas. Pedestrian and cycling paths should be provided as attractive and safe alternatives to cars.
    • Maintain and enhance the health and viability of urban public transit systems.
    • Integrate transport modes, whether for passengers or goods, in order to provide more efficient goods movement, and to increase the availability of lower impact transportation options such as public transit.
    • Protect historical sites and archaeological resources, reduce noise pollution, and consider aesthetics in the planning, design and construction of transportation systems.
  • Decision Making Processes
    • Ensure public and private sector stakeholders coordinate their transportation planning, development and delivery activities. These transportation decisions should also be integrated with environment, health, energy and urban land-use decisions.
    • Make transportation-related decisions in an open and inclusive process. Inform the public about transportation options and impacts, and encourage them to participate in decision making so that the needs of different communities (i.e. rural vs. urban; cyclists vs. drivers, etc.) can be understood and accounted for.
    • Anticipate environmental or social impacts of transportation-related decisions rather than trying to react to them after they have occurred. This will result in considerable cost savings since transportation decisions often involve costly, long-term infrastructure investments.
    • Consider both the global and local social, economic and environmental effects of decisions.
Environmental Quality
Human activities can overload the environment's finite capacity to absorb waste, physically modify or destroy habitats, and use resources more rapidly than they can be regenerated or replaced. Efforts must be made to develop transportation systems that minimize physical and biological stress, staying within the assimilative and regenerative capacities of ecosystems, and respecting the habitat requirements of other species. Principle #6: Pollution Prevention

Transportation needs must be met without generating emissions that threaten public health, global climate, biological diversity or the integrity of essential ecological processes.

Principle #7: Land and Resource Use

Transportation systems must make efficient use of land and other natural resources while ensuring the preservation of vital habitats and other requirements for maintaining biodiversity

Strategic Directions

  • Environmental Protection and Waste Reduction
    • Minimize transportation-related air emissions and discharges of contaminants to surface (fresh and salt water) and ground water.
    • Minimize the generation of waste through each phase of the life-cycle of transportation vehicles, vessels and infrastructure. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
    • Ensure that the rate of use of renewable resources does not exceed rates of regeneration, and non-renewable resource use is minimized.
    • Ensure emergency management systems are in place in order to respond to spills and other transportation-related accidents.
  • Land Use
    • Emphasize compact urban form in order to reduce habitat destruction and loss of agricultural and recreational lands around urban areas.
    • Minimize the impact on natural habitat and the wildlife and people it supports in the design, construction and operation of inter-city transportation systems and infrastructure, including, for example, highways, pipelines, and railways.
  • Energy Use
    • Reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions through efficiencies and demand management.
    • Promote the use of alternative and renewable energy.
Economic Viability
Sustainable transportation systems must be cost effective. If adjustment costs are incurred in the transition to more sustainable transportation systems they should be equitably shared, just as current costs should be more equitably shared. Principle #8: Fuller Cost Accounting

Transportation decision makers must move as expeditiously as possible toward fuller cost accounting, reflecting the true social, economic and environmental costs, in order to ensure users pay an equitable share of costs.

Strategic Directions

  • Fuller-Cost Accounting
    • Identify and recognize public subsidies (hidden or otherwise) to all modes of transport and make transportation decisions accordingly.
    • Reflect the full social, economic and environmental costs (including long term costs) of each mode of transport or transport related practice as accurately as possible in market prices.
    • Ensure users pay a fuller share of all costs, while respecting equity concerns.
    • Research and Technological Innovation
    • Promote research and development of innovative alternative technologies that improve access and help protect the environment. The emphasis should be on providing a wide range of transportation options.
  • Job Creation
    • Consider the potential economic and employment benefits that could be derived from the restructuring of our transportation systems.

Source: OECD International Conference, Vancouver Canada, 24-27 March 1996
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Sustainable Transportation