“An overview of strategies for social-ecological transformation in the field of transportation”, John Szabo, Thomas SJ Smith and Leon Leuser (IWE CERS, Hungary)

A destructive and wasteful transportation model has developed across the Global North and further afield over the last 150 years, emerging hand-in-hand with a society reliant on fossil fuels. The proliferation of privately owned, combustion engine-propelled passenger vehicles, for instance, drives a highly individualised, resource-, time-, and space-intensive system, as well as one that perpetuates an unjust and growth-oriented capitalist society. Distances travelled, whether by land, sea or by air, have been on the rise, and the means to facilitate this have rapidly expanded (see e.g., USA. FHA 2018). Today, nearly a quarter of global CO2 emissions originates from the transportation sector (Solaymani 2019). In the face of climate change, it has therefore never been more urgent to take action to reconfigure the mobility system. The COVID-19 pandemic offers yet another fork in the road. It can provide a structural opening for change, since it has forced many to travel less at a point in time when the technology capable of substituting travel is available to many. It also further exacerbates inequalities.

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