Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
Chapter 21: Built environment and travel behaviour
Although transport also encourages social and economic development (for example, Church et al. 2000; Preston and Rajé 2007; Cebollada 2009), its impact is mainly perceived as undesirable, particularly when undertaken by private car, because of its negative externalities such as time lost in congestion, noise nuisance and the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants. To reduce these impacts policy makers are urged to respond by undertaking appropriate actions and measures to limit, especially, travel using private cars. Over several decades, transport policy in Europe and the USA has mainly focused on the supply side of transport by extending the road network to meet demand. As a result, in the 1970s and 1980s, road infrastructure expanded spectacularly in many countries, mainly by the construction of motorways. In the 1990s, the focus shifted from the supply side towards the demand side of transport with the introduction of shorter-term infrastructure management strategies so that existing road infrastructure could be used more efficiently. This shift was, without doubt, inspired by the report Our Common Future of the Brundtland Commission which introduced the concept of ‘sustainable development’: a social and economic development meeting today’s needs but without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987). It led to the first Earth Summit, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and the formulation of Agenda 21 (United Nations 1992).
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