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Sustainable Mobility at Thirty

Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1965;
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility and Transportation)
It is now almost three decades since the concept of ‘sustainable mobility’ first appeared in the 1992 EU Green Paper on the Impact of Transport on the Environment. This paper reviews the literature and reflects on how societies’ understanding and interpretation of the concept of sustainable mobility has evolved. We track this evolution over six dimensions: research and policy, transport impacts and categories, scientific disciplines, methodological approach, and research questions. From this review we assert that the mainstream understanding and interpretation of sustainable mobility can be grouped into four generations of studies. The first generation of studies (1992–1993) were techno-centric and focused on how to limit transport’s negative environmental impacts by improving then-existing technology. The second, third and fourth generations of studies (1993–2000, 2000–2010 and 2010–2018 respectively) increasingly acknowledge the limitations of preceding efforts to achieve sustainable mobility, and open for a more diverse set of alternatives. These studies have gradually become more interdisciplinary in nature—reflecting the inter-relatedness of mobility with all other aspects of society. We conclude that despite the ensuing elevation of mobility into the holistic picture society, we still have not achieved a sustainable mobility system. Furthermore, what is much needed now, more than ever, is a bold set of new narratives. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable mobility; concept evolution; generations; policy sustainable mobility; concept evolution; generations; policy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Holden, E.; Gilpin, G.; Banister, D. Sustainable Mobility at Thirty. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1965.

AMA Style

Holden E, Gilpin G, Banister D. Sustainable Mobility at Thirty. Sustainability. 2019; 11(7):1965.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Holden, Erling, Geoffrey Gilpin, and David Banister. 2019. "Sustainable Mobility at Thirty" Sustainability 11, no. 7: 1965.

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