Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
zens—notwithstanding some problems of measurability. Economic incen-
tives in mobility policies can help increase efficiency by reducing unit
costs (Euros per tonne mile or passenger trip) and favoring higher-value
(emergency, freight, service, business trips, and high occupancy vehicles)
over lower-value travel 8 . Efficient market principles (suitable consumer
options, cost-based pricing, efficient prioritization, and neutral public poli-
cies, like congestion and pollution charges) can support economic develop-
ment [6].
Nevertheless, external costs can overcome any benefits: inefficient
transport systems lack in reliability or capacity and increase economic and
social costs, with adverse effects on regional welfare . The environmental
and social impacts of mobility systems are susceptible to economic valua-
tion. They are critical in the presence of fragile ecosystems, vulnerable
people, natural and cultural landscapes, for the link between regional traits,
and opportunities for income generation (e.g., tourism [9]). Social costs
include any impacts on health, employment, and income distribution [10],
but also on land use, real estate values, and the incremental costs of
induced trips [6]. Congestion and accidents also shape quality of life in
terms of prospective capabilities, time consumption, and health care .
Decoupling the environmental impacts of transport from economic
growth is a major challenge [11]. In wealthier countries, economic produc-
tivity tends to increase with reduced motor vehicle travel and higher fuel
prices [6], when a “sustainability threshold” is broken. A balance has to be
sought: mobility services have costs and benefits for the whole of society.
Any exercise to address mobility and quality of life should include several
cost categories and the influences that economics can help recognize and
OECD (1996) Proceedings OECD International Conference Toward Sustainable Trans-
portation. Hull
Stiglitz J E, Sen A, Fitoussi J P (2009) Report by the Commission on the Measurement
of Economic Performance and Social Progress
World Bank (1996) Sustainable transport: priorities for policy reform. Washington, D C
World Bank (2008) Safe, clean, and affordable - transport for development. The World
Bank Group's Transport Business Strategy 2008-2012, Washington, D C
Rodrigue J P, Comtois C, Slack B (2009) The geography of transport system. Routledge,
New York
Litman (2010) Evaluating transportation economic development impacts. Transport Pol-
icy Institute, Victoria
8 Some types of incentives can raise moral dilemmas, e.g., driving on the “express lanes” of US
freeways by paying a fee [9].
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