Greening urban and suburban travel: current situation, challenges, opportunities and emerging trends

30 Oct 2017

Prospects for the decarbonising of Australian cities will depend on opportunities for a reduction of transport energy use. This project focuses on the most significant challenge to Green House Gas reduction in urban transport -- specifically, that relating to provision of public transport and active travel options for low density suburban areas that are currently car dependent. As part of the interim deliverables for this project, the research team has undertaken an environmental scan of international best practices and trends in the provision of high-priority, transformative initiatives to tackle the mobility challenges facing both urban and suburban communities. The report gathers and collates information from a wide body of literature to assist the CRC partner organisations in responding to the impacts of this global challenge, and to inform their policy and advocacy positions.
This report starts by providing the background to this project, its aims and objectives which are focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger car usage in urban and suburban areas. The report then details the current challenges facing urban mobility including rapid urbanisation, road crashes and injuries, traffic congestion, ageing assets and the infrastructure investment gap, and the limitation of the current approaches. The report then identifies the opportunities available today to set our cities on a path towards low carbon mobility, including investments in public transport and active travel solutions, travel demand management, transport and land-use integrations, and investments in dense, walkable and bicycle friendly cities. The report also identifies the role of transport technologies and digital innovations in improving access to jobs and opportunities and enhancing personal mobility, and promoting sustainable transport by providing travellers with information and better solutions to travel around our cities.
The next part of the report reviews the current global trends in sustainable transport solutions, and provides a reflection on how some of these trends can be applied to case studies relevant to this project. The review also covers some of the emerging technology-based trends including autonomous vehicles and how they can be used support public transport and first and last kilometre travel. The review also provides some background information on the modelling tools and other techniques that will be used in this project’s future stages.
The report then details the policy principles for low carbon mobility which are based on the “Avoid, Shift, Share, Improve” policy instrument framework. The discussion includes the identification of key policy principles, their potential benefits, how they are applied in city context and urban/suburban needs, and how decision makers can match policy to a city’s current and future needs and requirements. This section also emphasises the importance of stakeholder consultations and concludes with a number of case studies that demonstrate how cities around the world have applied these principles in the context of low carbon mobility. The report then also describes the role of digital innovations in creating sustainable urban mobility in the world’s cities.
Finally, the report identifies the research needs and requirements for greening suburban travel in the Australian context, and how to adopt policies and strategies that accelerate their deployment and adoption.
This interim report concludes by providing an overview of the next stages of research required to achieve the aims and objectives of this research over the remaining duration of this project.

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