Sustainable Transport Systems

Sustainable Cities


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) entails the principles through which organizations integrate their environmental and social factors within their operations as well as overall interactions between customers and stakeholders. CSR is part of the “Triple Bottom Line” approach used by corporations to achieve success through social, economic and environmental goals. The main issue in CSR is to factor in management and environmental responsibility, engagement with stakeholders, standards and working conditions, social equity, community relations, human rights, gender equity, anti-corruption policies and governance. When organizations apply solid CSR they benefit by getting market advantages, profits, increased sales, enhanced savings, efficiency and improved productivity. Organizations that have worthy CSR initiatives have a good reputation, enjoy enhanced customer loyalty, and have robust risk management strategies. CSR is significant in many ways because it creates sustainability in everything that corporations do. However, social responsibility needs to be scalable. Therefore, it does not only involve organizations taking a stand; rather, it entails the long-term sustainability of the corporations.

Observations in the contemporary world indicate that not many companies are willing to do CSR. Most organizations wait until big corporations take their stand before they also start initiatives that are aligned to CSR best practices. Hence, organizations that need to succeed need to initiate scalable solutions that can generate immediate impacts. With the limited resources, global warming, pollution among other negative scenarios in the contemporary world, corporations are obliged to be sustainable because this makes sense as a business necessity. Further, the social impact of CSR is also becoming more and more synonymous (Bhinekawati, 2017). For instance, there has been a growing consensus that the main drivers of corporate pro-social programs should be measured by activities that have a positive impact on humans, the environment, the society and finances.

The Need for Sustainability

As humans we must not let things be, we must be careoful to observe our surroundings, the environment, natural resources and non-renewable sources of energy. The sooner that companies engage in CSR activities, the better for the sustainability of the global populace. There is a need for collective efforts to address the difficulties that face the world at present. There are a host of challenges that include pollution, urbanization, poverty, pollution and depletion of resources and most importantly global warming. The need to address the challenges is innate in every corporate entity even without the intervention of government or policy enforcement. Therefore; it is necessary for companies to nurture and care for the ecosystem as it is a source of raw materials, life and continuity. Based on the importance of the ecological system, Corporate Social Responsibility is here to stay; it is growing, and every organization need to be part of this path. Even with the masses, they are willing to be associated with sustainable organizations and can sacrifice anything to achieve that. While organizations need to make money, they should prioritize their ethical and social responsibilities. Therefore, any development in the world needs to take care of the needs of the present as well as the future. Sustainability should be a guiding principle that should guide human life in this world. The utilization of resources should also be done in a manner that is rational and optimal. Hence, sustainability should be a goal of green development calls for interactions between a healthy and productive life. The use of environmental resources should preserve them, eradicate poverty, assure human rights, reduce the disparities that are associated with the standards of living, ensure peace and security and above all, which preserve economic, social and cultural diversity. Therefore, the need for sustainability is to pursue objectives such as re-examining the critical environmental and developmental issues by formulating realistic proposals. Secondly, there is a need to develop goals that look at new ways for global cooperation with the aim of influencing events and policies towards the direction of the required changes (Bhinekawati, 2017). Finally, it is crucial to develop objectives that raise the levels of commitment and understanding between all stakeholders such as corporations, the government, institutions and the populations.

The role of transportation systems in modern cities

Economic and social activities in urban centers are usually centered on public urban and private transportation systems. These forms of transport form the key to the proper functioning of modern cities. Also, the quality of urban life is significantly influenced by the implications of its transportation systems. The ambience and condition of urban environments such as the quality of air, noise and water pollution have been deteriorating in major metropolitan settings. Many cities in the world are becoming unlivable because of these ills (Ieda, 2010). Currently, the world boasts many towns that are the most polluted leading to millions of deaths of the global population. The ever-growing population of urban centres the world over are not improving matters as this reduces the quality of living.

Unfortunately, most urban centres in the world are not sustainable. The reason as to why the current towns fall short in terms of future planning is because most of them were not designed under the premise of sustainable development. Urban transport systems have emerged as the most significant source of greenhouse emissions because of human activities. It has become hard to achieve sustainability in urban transport systems because of population growth that does not match sustainable development. Some urban centres have been experiencing low-density settlement patterns while others have fewer competitive advantages for energy-intensive transportation modes. The lifestyles and social values of most urban dwellers are also deeply rooted in unsustainable transportation paths. These unsustainable paths usually include single-user vehicles, unlimited personal mobility, use of sports cars, use or recreational cars that are associated with social status and the desire to live in urban homes. Another threat to sustainability in major urban centres is the pricing of transportation services which does not optimise their use. For instance, in developing countries, the public transport system is so expensive that it is preferable to use a personal car (Ieda, 2010). The expensive transit system leads to congested roads and uncontrollable traffic and excess vehicles. Such a situation is far from ideal as it causes air pollution, congestion, time wastage, and the loss of essential economic resources.

Transportation and Design of Sustainable Cities

Since the industrial revolution, the population in most cities in the world has increased tremendously. Presently, nearly 90 per cent of communities in the developed world lives in the towns while most developing nations have over 50 per cent of their populations residing in the cities. People move to the cities in search of job opportunities and better living standards. However, when there is no proper planning and development of the cities, the available resources end up being stretched, and the towns become unsustainable. Globally, most cities are faced with many challenges such as insufficient housing, pollution and most importantly unsustainable transportation systems. Vital statistics indicate that the global urban population has grown exponentially from about 750 million people in 1950 to over 4 billion people in2015. Specifically, in 2014 over 56 per cent of the global population was living in urban areas. As a result, the world now hosts megacities with over 10 million residents. By 2030, the world is expected to host over 50 megacities. Therefore; as the world continues to urbanize, populations continue to grow, challenges associated with the sustainable development of cities continue to increase (Bhinekawati, 2017). Specifically, the mobility of people in these cities is going to be a challenge and governments the world over need to come up with sustainable solutions. Therefore, there is a need for integrated strategies to help governments take care of population growth, have efficient transportation systems and design cities in a more sustainable way.

Urbanization is characterized by a number of distinctive features such as a fast-growing population, high concentration of people, services and manufacturing activities which form the primary focus of economic activities. Urban centres also have many opportunities for making money which are actually three or more times as compared to rural areas. Cities also have more innovative people and organizations with education and research centers. Most economic activities that generate over 70 per cent of the GDP are done in urban centers sustainable (Ardila-Gomez & Ortegon-Sanchez, 2016). In the end, the developments create more challenges. For example, cities account for over two-thirds of global energy demand and account for over 70 per cent of greenhouse emissions. There has also been a significant increase in social instability across most cities in the world because of the increasing unemployment, social and economic inequalities among others. Other challenges include traffic congestion, water and air pollution, crime and violence. All these issues call for changes in the design and management of urban centers to make them more

Based on urbanization trends as well as the challenges outlined above, the major corporate social responsibility concern is how planners, policymakers, governments, and urban citizenry can make cities sustainable. A city can be said to be sustainable if it addresses the various dimensions of sustainable development. These dimensions include economic, social, environmental and institutional. On the economic front, sustainable cities need to have dynamic, healthy and responsible economies. On the social front, sustainable cities ensure social inclusion and sound quality of life for their citizens. On the environmental front, cities should adopt ecological practices that promote the environment. Finally, on the institutional front, cities should have transparent institutions that govern them in an engaging and transparent manner.

Further, sustainable cities should be designed in a manner that makes them resilient in addressing human-made and natural disasters (David, Gomez & Vargas, 2017). Thus, to pursue sustainability, cities need to be designed in a manner that provides sufficient electricity, water and sewerage systems, waste management systems among other utilities. Such cities should also be designed to enhance transportation and digital infrastructure, education and public services as well as governance systems. While designing urban centers, commercial interests should not override sustainability and the need to protect the public good. Given the impact of urbanization, there have been challenges in ensuring the application of CSR in all sectors and industries globally. There is a reluctant achievement of millennium development goals as well as sustainable development goals.

Developing sustainable transportation systems is one of the most vital elements of developing viable cities. The sustainable transit system can be achieved through the utilization of approached for developing sustainable urban transport systems. Most transport systems in the world at present are unsustainable as evidenced by high traffic jams and congestion, agricultural, materials and human health impacts as well as damage.  injuries and deaths on urban roads, vibration, noise, non-sustainable use of land resources, use of non-renewable oil resources, water pollution, lost working hours, inconveniences among others and many undesirable impacts associated with urban transportation require urgent sustainable development approach (Ardila-Gomez & Ortegon-Sanchez, 2016). With the current emerging transportation systems in most urban centers, achieving sustainability is inconceivable. Therefore, there is need to adopt and put urban transportation systems on a sustainable trend to make cities sustainable.

In addressing the outlined sustainability challenges, there is need for urban centers to come up with city development models that are ecological at the core. The eco-friendly model entails the formation of what is commonly termed as an eco-city. An eco-city model entails human settlements that are modelled on resilient and self-sufficient structures and functions for both living organisms and natural ecosystems (Pompper, 2017). It involves building metropolises on principles and living within the means of the environment. The strategy calls for towns that inter-depend and have synergies for economic and ecological sustainability, commanding the fundamental ability to reinforce commitments to achieving sustainable practices.

Sustainable Transportation

Designing and developing sustainable transportation is concerned with ensuring that urban centers develop transport systems that take account into the growth of population, design systems that deliver the required performance and capacity for the present and future needs. Such policies should also be designed in a manner that makes use of inexhaustible energy sources that are compatible with the anticipated lifestyle. Above all, they should be affordable and clean. Investment and transportation decisions made at present should aim at expanding as opposed to not limiting the ecological, economic and social choices that are available for the future generations (Hawkins, 2014). Therefore, urban transport systems are said to be sustainable when they satisfy the following factors: they should meet the needs and access by present generations, such systems should also allow future generations to reach and access their own needs, renewable energy resources should sustain them, do not pollute the environment to levels that cannot be absorbed by the planet, are technologically possible, financially and economically viable, support anticipated standard of life and supports the global, national and local sustainable goals for development.

Approaches to Sustainable Transportation Systems

There are many approaches that can be utilized by the management of various urban transport systems toward sustainability. They include technological, management and planning solutions and economic-behavioral. The technological approaches will mainly address the performance of vehicles, trains and other forms of urban transport, the flow of traffic and public transport infrastructure. Technology can be used to bring advancements in road infrastructure, automobiles and traffic management (Ieda, 2010). Developments in these areas have enhanced the efficiency of vehicles, control of emissions, reducing noise pollution, managing congestion, carrying out safety audits on highways among other strategies. All the areas of urban development may benefit immensely from the adoption of intelligent transport systems.

In vehicle technology, urban transport systems require that people use greener cars that are more efficient on fuel and emissions to the environment. Vehicles should also have better safety standards for them to enhance sustainable road transportation. For instance, urban transport systems should put policies that require the use of vehicles that are powered by inexhaustible sources of fuel (Geertman, Toppen & Stillwell, 2013). Regulations should also be put in place for the production of greener cars to make urban transportation sustainable.

Concerning traffic management, strategies should be put in place to manage traffic congestion that manifests through frequent acceleration and stopping, frequent stops that lead to high fuel consumption. Therefore, urban transport systems should work for smooth flows of traffic. This can be achieved by the use of advanced management systems for traffic flow that is aimed at reducing the impact of road transport and thus drive it towards sustainability. Thirdly, the construction and maintenance of urban transport infrastructure should make use of greener recyclable materials and advanced technology. Transport systems should have safety design features as well as features to manage impacts on the environment (Newton, 2008). Maintenance techniques should also make use of sustainable approaches while undesirable consequences should be handled at the design level. Environmental impact aspects such as protecting sensitive areas, biodiversity, aesthetics, and safety and noise impacts should be reduced using appropriate regulations.

On the economic and behavioral approaches, sustainable practices address driver behavior, social acceptance and taxation and pricing charges. To make urban transport systems viable, the designers should make use of full-cost recovery principles. For instance, all users of transportation systems should pay for any services as this increases efficiency and reduces demand. Infrastructure costs should also be done on the basis of amortization and depreciation models to ensure the expansion and maintenance of existing systems (Altenburger, 2018). Other things that must be addressed include infrastructure costs, accidents costs as well as other costs. The planning and development of urban transport systems should also be based on sustainable models.


Majority of the global urban centers are currently moving towards the new wave of sustainability. The impetus towards sustainability is mainly because of the growing populations, high rate of urbanization and inconsistent development of urban systems. Transportation systems have been a leading cause of non-sustainability of urban centers because of the inefficient movement of people and goods, congestion, accidents, delays, frustration and stress. Therefore efforts towards developing sustainable urban transport systems will mainly depend on the interactions between population growth, urbanization and development of sustainable transport systems. The design and construction of sustainable transport systems should allow mobility and accessibility at a higher level. The plan should be executed without negative impacts on the environment and other stakeholders. To achieve the goal of viable transit systems, concerted efforts should be made through feasible government and institutional policies. There should also be changes in social attitudes as well as significant changes of visions into sustainable practices and implementing them. It is, therefore, premised that both technological, social, economic policies and management practices. By doing all these, governments, institutions and organizations involved in the development and management of urban transport systems will be executing their roles of corporate social responsibility.





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Ardila-Gomez, A., & Ortegon-Sanchez, A. (2016). Sustainable urban transport financing from the sidewalk to the subway: Capital, operations, and maintenance financing. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

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David, C., Gomez, L, & Vargas, L. (2017). Corporate social responsibility and corporate governance – concepts, perspective. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Geertman, S., Toppen, F., & Stillwell, J. (2013). Planning support systems for sustainable urban development. Berlin: Springer.

Hawkins, D. (2014). Corporate social responsibility: Balancing tomorrow’s sustainability and today’s profitability. Palgrave Macmillan.

Ieda, H. (2010). Sustainable urban transport in an Asian context. Tokyo: Springer.

Newton, P. (2008). Transitions: Pathways towards sustainable urban development in Australia. Collingwood, VIC: CSIRO Pub.

Pompper, D. (2018). Corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical public relations strengthening synergies with human resources. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.