Towards a green economy 5 Enabling conditions
Enabling conditions are background conditions in the investment and political environment that collectively allow the transition to a green economy. They will assist the implementation of the green investments identified for the transport sector, particularly if efforts are taken to ensure a harmonised and integrated approach that facilitates best available policies and technologies across the world. Below, we explore the key enabling conditions for green transport, namely:
■ Designing appropriate regulation, planning and information provision;
■ Setting the right financial conditions and economic incentives;
■ Ensuring technology transfer and access; and ■ Strengthening institutions and capacity.
Transport is a complex sector, which is shaped over a long period of time, and by various external sectors and factors (EEA 2008). Therefore, a combination of strategic approaches and policy instruments is required to green the transport sector. An inventory of policy instruments for environmentally sustainable transport and extensive discussion of their possible use in selected countries may be found in (OECD 2002).
5.1 Designing appropriate regulation, planning and information provision
A wide range of policies could support the Avoid, Shift and Improve strategies for green transport, namely:
■ Planning – can reduce the need or distance to travel by bringing closer together the people and the activities that they need to access. It can enable the implementation, and increase the attractiveness of new green transport infrastructure, including for public transport, cycling and walking;
■ Regulation – can be used to restrict the use of certain motorised vehicles but can also influence the types of vehicles used and the standards that they should adhere to (both in terms of vehicle performance and road regulations);
■ Information – can increase peoples’ awareness of alternative means of transport, leading to a modal shift. Information can also be provided to improve driver behaviour and reduce fuel consumption; and
■ Economic Instruments – can provide incentives to change behaviour regarding choice of: vehicle type, fuel, type and timing of travel mode, etc. (see 5.2 for details).
Examples are provided in Table 6. Combining these individual policies is imperative to increasing their effectiveness. For example, restrictions on parking (or high fees) push users away from cars, whilst planning for public transport pulls them towards green transport.
Details of how these policies can enable green transport are provided in the sections below.
is essential in realising sustainable
development. Good planning on all levels (urban, regional, and national) is a prerequisite for green transport, as land use often determines patterns of transport for many years (see the Cities chapter).
Planners have investigated and postulated growth
patterns for cities over the years. Six of the most common forms of city evolution or current growth patterns are outlined in Figure 11. The “compact city”, which accommodates increases in population through densification of the city centre and the “corridor city”, which is synonymous with transit-oriented development are thought to be the most sustainable spatial approaches. The mid-sized city of Freiburg, Germany is a good example of the former, whereas Tokyo, Japan is a good example of the latter. Efforts have been made in many developing countries to build cities suited to public transport and non-motorised transport,31
and Aguascalientes, Mexico is
a good example (Embarq, no date). On the other hand, the “fringe city” based on suburban sprawl is synonymous with a heavily private car-dependent society, a result of a traditional, sectoral-based, planning approach.
Regulatory instruments Owing to the inelastic nature of transport demand, economic signals such as the price of fuel are often insufficient on their own to trigger a large shift in behaviour for both consumers and industry. Regulatory instruments therefore play a large role in creating additional incentives to enable change. Timilsina and
31. The potential for land use and urban planning to shape long-term transport patterns is higher in developing countries, where cities are still emerging and have not yet locked themselves into a car-dominated society. To incorporate the increasing population brought by the trend towards urbanisation, cities in developing countries can set clear physical boundaries to define the outer perimeter of the city, promote mixed land use, and (if needed) develop new land around public transport corridors.
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