GUSTo: Global Urban Sustainable Transport

How will a rapidly urbanizing world affect demand for transport and energy?  How can we transition to sustainable transportation in a rapidly urbanizing world with ever-growing need for mobility?

Motivation & Value:

The world’s urban population is expected to rise from 3.5 billion today to 6 billion by 2050.  This research area focuses on transitions to more sustainable urban transport and compares developed and developing cities, regions and countries.  The role of information and communication technologies (ICT), big data, new mobility paradigms, integration of modes, and introduction of new fuel and vehicle technologies will be addressed holistically to describe likely future trends and identify forces and factors that might change VMT and system formats from an energy and GHG perspective.

Key Research Questions:
  • What are the likely growth trends for urban travel around the world, taking into account shifts in land use, modal shares, new types of vehicles, and car ownership and use?  What are the social, personal, political, economic, and technological constraints on the rates of change?  Which of these tend to resist change, and which compel change?
  • How will urbanization affect future transport and energy demand?
  • What are the implications of growing and evolving cities for CO2 emissions, transport and energy infrastructure requirements, and materials requirements?
  • How might different types of policies play a role in improving alternative modes and deploying alternative fuels in this context?  What are the possible impacts of greater use of ICT?
  • How much and what kinds of investments and supporting policies will be needed to achieve more sustainable mobility?  How does the picture differ around the world, and what trends appear likely to be global?

Leaders: Lew Fulton, Gil Tal, Michael Nicholas, Caroline Rodier, Sonia Yeh, Giovanni Circella