Market Structure, Sustainability and Decision Making
NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research
Edited by Thomas Vanoutrive and Ann Verhetsel
Chapter 1: Classifying transport studies using three dimensions of society: market structure, sustainability and decision making
This introductory chapter is structured around a small content analysis of the chapters in this volume. In line with the title of this volume, three dimensions will be used to classify these texts, (i) market structure, (ii) sustainability and (iii) decision making. Market structure refers to the allocation mechanisms at work. (Environmental) sustainability covers the characteristics of the physical environment, the availability of natural resources and the effects of transport activities (for example, pollution).Lastly, decision making refers to transport policy, that is, the conscious attempts to change the transport system. Since the interactions between these three aspects are many, our classification tool does not subdivide the chapters into three categories, but positions the texts relative to the three aforementioned dimensions. Some readers will detect traces of the ‘triple bottom line’ People Planet Profit (People Planet Prosperity; P3) or similar sustainable development slogans. However, we shall argue that the three concepts are deliberately chosen and that our triptych does not necessarily reflect what is understood under P3. A first thing to note is that the three dimensions of transport are qualitatively different.
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