Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sustainable Transportation: Key to Climate Change Mitigation

by Aditi Nargundkar Pathak

The Urban Vision in partnership with Columbia Business School’s Energy club, Social enterprise club and Green Business club hosted a forum on sustainable transportation in Columbia University, New York City as part of The Urban Vision’s “Climate Month” celebration between September 15 – October 15 2009 leading up to the historic Copenhagen Summit scheduled for December 2009. The “Climate Month” featured a series of Forums and Symposiums with major thought leaders of our times to evaluate solutions to moving our planet into a sustainable path.
This Sustainable Transportation forum highlighted several projects and innovative processes that would benefit us in climate change mitigation while improving the overall quality of life.
Prathima Manohar from The Urban Vision set the tone of the meeting by reminding the audience of some facts like climate change being greatest challenges faced by our planet and cities being at the heart of this problem. About 80% of carbon emissions can be attributed to the cities, and automobiles contribute to the half of carbon emission. Prathima added that while other sectors like industry have been able to reduce carbon emissions; the transport sector has steadily increased their carbon emissions.
Earl Jackson, Associate Director at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) showcased the projects and design ideology of SOM. Earl focused on two main projects: – Tyson’s corner in Fairfax County, Virginia and Maytas forest Hills, Hyderabad. SOM was involved in developing a master plan with a focus on transit for Tyson’s Corner.

The beltway of Tyson's Corner, Virginia, photo by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)

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