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Sustainable Passenger Transport: Back to Brundtland

Erling Holden, Kristin Linnerud, David Banister

We argue that there is no clear definition of the concept sustainable passenger transport to help guide politicians in solving challenges at the global or regional level. Rather, the use of the concept has to an increasing extent reflected socially desirable attributes of local- and project-level problems, but these ignore the global challenges the concept was meant to solve. Going back to the Brundtland Report, we redefine the concept of ‘sustainable passenger transport’ and suggest an assessment method based on four equally important, main dimensions: safeguarding long-term ecological sustainability, satisfying basic transport needs, and promoting intra- and intergenerational equity. We also define indicators and threshold values that have to be met for each of these dimensions and then illustrate how to achieve sustainable passenger transport.

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