Urban Transportation Planning

This course seeks to develop a comprehensive approach to planning for Sustainable Mobility, responding to contemporary mobility needs and values. It will also explore the development of a comprehensive (possibly organic) definition of the term Sustainable Mobility. The course examines transportation policymaking and planning, its relationship to environmental politics, and implementation and institutional behavior. Students will develop an understanding of the transportation policy and planning processes, principal issues, institutions, and stakeholders as they are related to successfully integrating transport and environmental policy – or failing to do so. The course theme focuses on both the tension and potential synergy between traditional transportation policy values of individual mobility, system efficiency, and business alliances with those of environmentalism and communitarian values and long-term economic growth. We will also explore how policy decisions are made and implemented in this uncertain and politicized context, whether economic growth, equity, and environmental values can be integrated as hypothesized in the sustainability paradigm, and if so how. Special emphasis will be placed on interpreting sustainability in the context of Livable Communities, both because that is where sustainability is actually experienced, and as a mechanism for building the political will to improve sustainability. Changing roles of federal and state jurisdictions in environmental and transportation issues are adding further complexity to the policy context. Finally, demographic changes are strongly affecting both the economic and politics of local, state, federal and global institutions.