Four Circles Approach for Integrated Transport Policy

If we want to seriously address the transportation sector’s impact on climate change, we have to start moving slower. As a culture we are struggling between the realization that climate change is a real threat and the reality that driving less must become a way of life.  Unfortunately, we cannot “have our cake and eat it too” in the sense that we will not slow vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) without moving slower and moving less.

The often referenced “Three Legged Stool” for transportation’s contributions to climate change includes:

  1. vehicle EFFICIENCY
  2. amount of CO2 in vehicle FUELS
  3. how much and how we drive — TRAVEL BEHAVIOR

Moving Slower is dedicated to exploring the third leg of the stool – TRAVEL BEHAVIOR.  The premise of this blog lies in my personal belief that we cannot fully address climate change without tackling the issue of travel behavior from four facets as shown below – the point of maximizing greenhouse gas reductions from travel behavior (i.e. how large each of these circles might be) will become more clear as research points to how effective each of these strategies are.  However, the point I want to make through this blog and the illustration below is that we need to approach the “third leg of the stool” in an integrated manner that addresses the varying emission reductions that can be achieved by layering these approaches.  The central region where each circle overlaps represents the maximum benefit we can achieve when implementing multiple strategies to address reducing vehicle travel and improving system efficiency.

The following four circles will be discussed in this week’s blog posts — stay tuned!

Four Circles Approach to GHG Reduction

Four Circles Approach to GHG Reduction