Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
As a precursor to exploring policies for a ‘sustainable future’, there is value in seeking some clarity around the meaning of sustainability, as it relates to transport and land use. While numerous authors have written about sustainable transport (for example, Bakker et al. 2014), a widely agreed definition remains elusive. Most articles talk about various qualities that will enhance the sustainability of mobility or transport systems (see, for example, Banister 2008; Gärling et al. 2014), but it is unusual to see any reference to the characteristics of a sustainable end-state system. By implication, it might be possible to say that one system is more sustainable than another but neither might actually be ‘sustainable’ in a long-term sense. Most efforts at defining sustainable mobility/transport owe their origins to the work of the landmark Brundtland Commission, which set out its much-quoted definition for sustainable development (WCED 1987, p. 8): ‘Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’
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