Book Institutional Barriers to Sustainable Transport

Institutional Barriers to Sustainable Transport
Carey Curtis, Curtin University, Australia and Nicholas Low, University of Melbourne, Australia

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In a world seeking to tackle global environmental problems such as climate change, the importance of local and national institutional change to deal most effectively with these issues is critical. This book presents an investigation of the institutional barriers preventing the development of a new vision for urban transport compatible with these realities and in those terms 'sustainable'. Through an examination of transport planning in Australia, the book challenges conventional wisdom by showing, through original research, how 'car dependence' is as much an institutional as a technical phenomenon. The authors' case studies in three metropolitan cities show how transport policy has become institutionally fixated on a path dominated by private, road-based transport and how policy systems become encrusted around investment to accommodate private cars, erecting an impenetrable barrier against more sustainable mobility and accessibility solutions.

Representing a new approach to understanding transport policy, this book brings sophisticated political-institutional analysis to what has traditionally been the domain of engineering and technology. The authors connect the empirical content to this theory and the issue of sustainability making the findings applicable to most cities of the developed world, and to fields beyond transport planning. A strategy and program of action is outlined to take advantage of changing public perceptions and aimed at creating a new vision for urban transport.

Preface; Introduction; Sustainable transport and institutional barriers; The irrationality of path dependence; Transport planning in Australia; How organizations shape infrastructure: roads organizations; How organizations shape infrastructure: public transport organizations; Transport plans in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth; The discourse of roads; The discourse of public transport; Stakeholder groups Contemporary mental models; Overcoming the barriers; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.

About the Author
Carey Curtis, Curtin University of Technology, Australia and Nicholas Low, University of Melbourne, Australia.

'… ''This book is very welcome indeed and takes us far beyond the usual discourse around sustainable transport. It is about change and the how and why change happens and pulls no punches about the urgent need for change in transport policy and practice. A very informative and eloquent story is woven around the nature of change, the importance of persistent paradigms, barriers to change, the role of institutions, individual and networks. It also tells us what kind of change is needed. Now this story is out in the open there is a much better chance that we will all begin to experience the many benefits of sustainable transport in delivery rather than read about it in academic text books.' John Whitelegg, University of York, UK

'''That genuinely sustainable transport systems require transformative changes in government policy settings is surely incontrovertible. This exemplary and innovative study uncomfortably documents the historically ingrained road-fixated policy culture which stands in the way. Only by critically challenging and comprehensively rethinking this institutional milieu can cities transition from path dependent to path breaking transport policies.' Robert Freestone, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

  • Published in October 2012
  • Hardback
  • 278 pages
  • 234 x 156 mm