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Green Transportation System For Sustainable Campus Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 3722 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Green transport or sustainable transport refers to the any transportation which does not involve non-renewable energy and produces less harmful impact to the environment. For instance, walking and cycling, green vehicles, car pooling, transit oriented development, human-powered transport, renewable energy transportation or alternative transportation, and other forms of protecting transport system that are less fuel consume, space efficiency, low cost, and promote healthy lifestyle.

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The term green transport came into use as the society is growing interest in the concepts of sustainable development that aims to “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”(DESA,1999). It used to describe modes of transport, and systems of transport planning, which are more focus on environmental concerns. Besides, there are many definitions of green transport, and some related term such as sustainable mobility. One such definition, from the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport , sustainable transportation mean: “

Allows the basic access and development needs of individuals, companies and society to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and promotes equity within and between successive generations.

Is Affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers a choice of transport mode, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development.

Limits emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them, uses renewable resources at or below their rates of generation, and uses non-renewable resources at or below the rates of development of renewable substitutes, while minimizing the impact on the use of land and the generation of noise.” (2001: 8)

The concepts of green transport were developed before the phrase was invented. The first type of transport is walking and which also is the most sustainable. After the invention of public bus by Blaise Pascal in 1662, the public transport dates back. (Alfred, 2008). Continue with the increased wealth during the post war years which brought a demand for greater mobility for human and goods. However, public investment in walking and biking declined dramatically in the Great Britain, United States, and Australasia although this did not occur to the same extent in mainland Europe or Canada. (Pucher, J. & Dijkstra, L. ,2003); (Transportation Research Board , 2001). When the crisis of oil and energy during 1973 and 1979, focus on the sustainability of this approach became widespread. The limitation and increasing price of fuels led to a resurgence of interest in alternatives to single occupancy vehicle travel.

A study by the United States Federal Highway Administration (2004) which release in 2004 concluded that an important component of overall national transport strategy need a more proactive approach to transportation demand. A sustainable transport system exists to provide economic connection and social, and people hurry pick up the opportunities by increased mobility. The increased mobility is good, but we need to weigh its advantages from the aspect of social, economic cost, and environmental that transport system poses. Transportation system has high environmental impact, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. (World Energy Council, 2007). According to the research, the gas emissions from transport which contribute to the greenhouse effect are increasing at a faster rate compare to other energy using sector (U.S Environmental Protection Agency, 2002).

Therefore, a proper transport planning is needed. A sustainable transportation system must provide accessibility and mobility to society in environmental friendly mode of transport. This is a difficult task when the needs and demands of people with different income are often conflicting. For example, if most people are not effort to have their own vehicle or not effort to use public transport, they have to either walk or ride bicycle to work. Construct another safe infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists may need the separation of road space from motorized traffic or reduce the speeds of vehicles. Both measures could result in restricting mobility of car users.

Likewise, measures to reduce air pollution at the same time may conflict with those needed for reduction in road accidents. For instance, increases the average speeds of vehicle may reduce the emissions gas but may result in increasing the accident rates. Moreover, most of the government policy documents and public discussions on transportation are more concern about the air pollution. People look upon the health problem owing to pollution are as worthy of public action whereas those due to accidents problem as owing to individual mistakes. As a result, most of the policy documents dealing with sustainable development always include options for pollution reduction.

In practice green transport is more fuel efficient, but only in comparison with some standard vehicles. It still will contribute to traffic congestion and road crashes. Although there have a lot of transport choices with very low environmental impact such as human-powered vehicles and other animal powered transport, but the most common transport choices with the least environmental impact are cycling and walking. By choosing to walk or bike, it help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increased health benefits from a more active lifestyle, and a reduction in the occurrence of respiratory ailments associated with poor air quality. (The City of Chicago’s Official Tourism site, 2010)

1.2 Problem Statement

Nowadays, advance logistics is a vital link in the transport system. They have increased the efficiency, cost, and reliability aspects of our aspects of our delivery system consist of end supply chain. However, the environmental impact that cause by the appearance of transportation toward the high fuel consumption, noise pollution, gradual change from the movement of vibration, and the accident is now at the serious level of the sustainability issue have been identified to come into ” harmony terdepan” debate globally.

Many people believe in the theory of peak oil, which mean that there is a certain point in time when our oil production will peak, and then fall into sudden decline. But timing that peak is difficult at the best. Some experts believe that gasoline and diesel fuels will still play a major role by year 2050 (World Energy Councils, 2007), but their biofuel portion will be significant and we are now at the “Twilight years” of fossil fuels production. Other experts we might have as many as hundred years before peak oil occurs. Whether we are going to run out of oil or not is not the main issue. As we know, fossil fuel is non renewable and we are going to run out in someday.

Do we need to move to more exotic energy conversion technology (fuel cell vehicles?), or can improving fuel properties further allow us to continue using combustion engines to power our vehicles? Besides removing sulfur, should there be less aromatic in fuels? Should aromatics be eliminated? What fuel properties can still be improved in gasoline and diesel? Is there a role for oxygenates in gasoline and diesel? Can we and should we reduce our dependency on crude oil for transportation energy? Does blending oxygenates in fuels help or hinder in achieving the environmental goals?

To aggravate the situation, i know that around 250,000 new transport enter Malaysian roads manually, and the public transport is nothing to shout about. This number had increased the traffic jam problem in Malaysia. The traffic jams can affect the socio-economy of the country. Every day, traffic jam cost the country in term of time, environmental pollution, and wasted energy. Other than that, it causes stresses which indirectly increase the illnesses of our society.

1.3 Research objective

The aims of this research are to:

Explore the sustainable transport which is safe, economically viable, socially acceptable to people, places, goods and services in campus.

Study / analysis current transportation system of University Malaya.

Recommend the use of cycling / walking as a viable Green transport in University Malaya.

1.4 Research Question

Based on my research study, I will be able to answer the questions as following:

What is green transportation system?

What are the policies that should be integrate to achieve sustainability in campus?

What is the most suitable transport for a student?

Why students never consider to walk or bike in campus?

Who should responsible to the environmental impact of the transportation?

Who are involved in carry out the green transport?

Why green transportation systems play a significant role in campus?

1.5 Literature review

It is increasingly evident that modern lifestyles in affluent societies, and the mobility behavior associated with such lifestyles, are not consistent with the protection of environmental quality, the efficient use of resources, and the promotion of social cohesion and just distributions of opportunities and costs of using transport systems. (Donaghy, Rudinger, Poppelreuter, 2004 ).

There is now broad agreement in the world that present trends in transport are not sustainable. Many scholars have concluded that fundamental changes in technology, design, operation, and financing are needed. The concept of sustainability as well as the environmental impacts, energy consumption and equity issues caused by transport are discussed.

Many cities facing such common problems as traffic jam, traffic pollution on environment, and low efficiency of utilizing traffic resources. From Lu, Wang, and Shen (2003) opinions, it is a necessary choice and ultimate objective to construct the urban sustainable transportation system. Hence, the connotation and the way to construct the sustainable transportation system, the system of policy and measures to realize the objective are scantly analyzed. But their paper just bases on this problem, discusses the concept of the sustainable development, the sustainable development of transport, the impact factors of the sustainable transportation system, the way, policy and measures to realize the objective, and so on.

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Liu (2003) and Song (2006) define green transport as the key to build healthy and sustainable transport system. Likewise, Batterbury (2004) mention that a key element of sustainable development in cities is the implementation of more effective, less polluting, and equitable transportation. The core of green transport is expansibility of resource, environment and system. We should understand the relations among transport system development, resource and environment from strategically perspectives. According by Liu (2003), green transport means not only internal transport system optimization and exterior harmony, but also high and sustainable efficiency.

As the world’s population increases and its resources remain constant, there is a need to address the sustainability of transportation systems. Linda and Robert (2004) consider the continuing increase in the use and density of automobiles (more vehicles with fewer people in them travelling greater distances over proportionally shorter roads) in relation to transportation sustainability and quality of life.

Barbara (1999) defined a sustainable transportation system as one in which fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, safety, congestion, and social and economic access are of such levels that they can be sustained into the indefinite future without causing great or irreparable harm to future generations of people throughout the world. On the other hand, Litman (2007) defined that sustainable transportation system is one which allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations.

Based on Yin and Li (2009) research, in order to build a friendly environment and save resources, thus to provide a transportation system that is reasonable in travel distance, sustainable in modal structure, and effective in services is needed.

Ge, Wang, Deng (2004), Jiang, Guo (2009), and Lu,Gao (1999) stated that 21st century is an environment protection century and environmental issues top all the problems of city development in the new era, so city transportation development must stick to the principle of environment protection, and regard developing pollution-free ‘green transportation’ as its basic policy and goal. In their papers, both of them had discussed the important of green transportation and it relationship with sustainable development.

A researcher, Song(2006) found that there are many weakness in nowadays traffic programming, we should brings up new thoughts for traffic planning and construct a harmonious society with the characteristics that take people′s interests into first consideration, according to new conception of green transport planning. Wang, Jiang, and Lan (2000) also agree with Song, they think that the previous transportation planning approach is no longer suitable for sustainable development of transportation system nowadays when urban environment is getting even worse.

Clearly, the need and opportunities for additional research, teaching and service learning on transportation system are countless. They are bounded only by our creativity and willingness to take risks and improve our way of living. The overriding issue is the way of thinking and the need to change routine decisions, levels of commitment and one’s own behavior.

In my opinion, those previous researches are too focus on the implementation of green transportation system in urban area. They forgot about that college campuses are distinct communities, in the words of Creighton (1998)’microcosms of society’, and that they have varied and often-large environmental impacts. Campuses are clearly ‘de-marketing automobile commuting’ (Wright and Egan, 2000) and actively promoting alternative transportation modes especially walking and cycling.

Biking or walking is healthy and save money. That is the conclusion of an increasing number of scientific studies assessing the impacts of bicycling and walking on levels of physical activity, obesity rates, cardiovascular health, and morbidity. (Anderson, et al. 2000), (Bassett, et al. 2008), (Bauman, et al 2008), (BMA, 1992), (Cavill, et al 2006) , (Dora and Phillips, 2000), (Gordon-Larsen, et al 2009), (Hamer and Chida, 2008) , (Hillman,1993), (Huy,et al 2008) , (Matthews, et al 2007), (Roberts, et al 1996) and (Shephard, 2008).

Biking and walking transport behaviors depend on the natural, infrastructure, socioeconomic, and environment of a place. According to Zahran, et al. (2008), statistical relationships survey can provide useful information to the transport and health planners which aim to encourage green transportation behavior.

” Even though the growing scholarly interest on biking and walking as viable transportation alternatives, but little empirical research has been conducted on the determinants of non-motorized transportation choice.” Zahran, et al. (2008:462). Many of the studies only investigate walking and biking transport behaviors at the neighborhood scale for limited space, and with small sets of predictors. A report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2005) mention that more research is needed on the “effect of the built environment on physical activity” especially in campus.

By choosing to walk or bike instead of driving, students can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in campus. If campus can start to promote walking and bicycling as a fun, healthy, safe and environmentally-conscious way of getting to study, the campus sure will have the potential be a bike-friendly campus.

In the last decade, many campus planners have been struggling to provide access and mobility without destroying campus qualities as distinct communities. So, my research is to reflect on how college campuses have encouraged a modal shift from cars to other modes, and in particular to bicycling and walking. Due to their pro-active educational background, I ensure that campus is the potential place to communicate sustainable and to help reshape society’s transportation patterns.

According to Orr(1992a), colleges and universities not only must learn to be responsibly in their self-interest but it is also the right to be responsible. This self-interest had been realized since 1990 signing of the ‘Talloires Declaration’ by the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. “The Talloires Declaration spells out key actions that institutions of higher education must take to create a more sustainable future.” (Carlos, 2003) Now there was more than 275 university leaders and international experts in over 40 countries worldwide have subscribed its sustainable principles.

On campus grounds sustainable transportation planning can be seen as providing basic infrastructures which can encourage students to bike or walk and linking transportation planning to land use planning. Many campus planners always agree that college’s potential to affect the transportation behavior of the campus. Not only that, in the future students also can develop their transportation habits and environmental awareness, as “they will progress to occupy influential roles in government, companies or other organizations” (Tolley, 1996)

However, many researchers mostly undertake the research on the use of environmentally friendly alternative energy sources or the innovation of new green transport to reduce the environment impacts. They forgot that a basic component to successfully adopting a future sustainable transport must start from a good practise of our young generations.

1.6 Research Methodologies

Research methodology is a system of method of procedure in research or study. It is an important tool to add value on the research by using collection, gathering and analysing information. The use of the methodology is important to empirical result for research. In this research, I will use two main qualitative research and one quantitative research methodologies to having a result from theoretical aspect and from the real world aspect.

Interview is the one of the methodologies using in this research to collect the data from specific parties. An unstructured approach of interview survey will be chose to understanding more recent issues and collect the opinions of the interviewers towards the research topic. There will be an interview session with the selected offices such as HEP and JPPHB to get the comments or possible views related to green transportation system. Other than that, the professors or lecturers who are more concern about the greening of campus will be interview to have their opinion on the sustainable transport and the practice of cycling program in campus.

The second methodology which used in this research is library research. From library research can be defined as the systematic study and investigation of some aspect of library and information science in which conclusions are based on the statistical analysis of data collected in accordance with pre-established research design and methodology. The analysis materials and readings on the research topic will be used to collect more comprehensive idea on the research topic. The online searching also will be one of the methods to collect the necessary information which may be not possible to search in the library or through interview.

Thirdly, I will ask some subjective questions related to the sustainable campus in a survey form and distribute to around 200 students to gather the data about their thought and behaviors. The survey form will give out via e-mail or post on facebook with the conditions only for UM students.

1.7 Research Limitation

In my own research there were several limitations I came across, including:

Uncontrollable Test Group- Because every human is different, so it is difficult for me to find a group of people who have exactly same thinking. This means that I had to survey as many people as possible so that just can account for differences.

Size and specificity in test groups- So far my research only had a very small test group which contained 200 students from different faculties, and frequently in my study the subjects will all be taken from only one establishment such as only in University Malaya. As a result, most of the studied has a very similar class group or environment and their results may not then be used to draw the whole conclusions.

Personal Perception- To get some useful opinion, I will ask some subjective question in the form of a survey such as “what is the most suitable transport for a student to come to school?” However, many surveys have shown that a person’s perception of themselves is different and their descriptions of their own suitable transport not necessary suitable for others.

Facebook- In order to get as many people as possible, I plan to open a survey on Facebook, but this means that for those who answer the survey must had a Facebook account. Therefore my data is focus on students who have easy and consistent access to a computer and internet service.

Changes over Time- Everything is changing over the time. The policies, regulations, even the weather will keep on changing every day. This change mean any research done may be invalidated in the future as discovery of a new transport that may cause new or different effects. Research on green transport system is therefore will behind the curve.


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