“What solutions do we have at our fingertips to address many of the issues that face us today, with respect to climate change, accessibility, reliance on fossil fuels, and our land use patterns?” asks Susan Shaheen, Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at UC Berkeley. TSRC is an organization that studies the ways in which sustainable transportation can be made to be most efficient economically, socially, and environmentally. It is focusing on three strategies to lessen greenhouse gas emissions in ordinance with California’s greenhouse gas legislation AB32; they include transportation and land use strategies, technological solutions, and using fuels that leave a smaller carbon footprint.
These approaches, Susan explains, are “changing perceptions across the United States and the World.” She identifies mobility as a fundamental right, just as people are starting to realize that “access trumps possession,” as Kevin Kelly, former editor/publisher of Whole Earth Review, predicted in 2009. Local governments are recognizing this and have started to incorporate shared mobility into public rights of way. These efforts are being made with street parking, provisions for off street parking, waiting zones, and free or reduced cost parking. However, “in order for mobility to be accessible to all, the public and private sector need to work together to ensure all people have access to shared mobility options regardless of income, race or ability,” says Susan.
Susan addresses how the current narrative of changing perspectives on transportation will have a significant effect on transportation demand management. Susan also explains the potential that mobility services shared between users can have. The focus on sustainability and the growth of smart cities highlights the changing business models that will business and government will adopt in the coming decades. As the way we do business and the way we commute to work are constantly changing and consistently influencing the economy, corporations and governments will have to continually account for these changes.