chapter  7
24 Pages

Transportation: Beyond Air Pollution

ByMichael Carolan

Urban and community patterns have taken the shape they have in part because of available transportation systems. This chapter focuses on the automobile because of its ubiquity and oversize ecological footprint. It represents a brief overview of some of the socioecological impacts associated primarily with this mode of transportation. Effective speed is, in some respects, calculated conventionally: speed equals distance divided by time. The novelty of the concept lies in its aim to consider all time costs when comparing transportation forms. As the ecological conditions of habitats change, wildlife will need to migrate in order to remain in optimal environments. China has a pollution problem. There is also compelling evidence pointing to the car's adverse impact on communities. More generally, social capital makes working with others easier, enhances information flow across the community, encourages cooperative behavior, and reduces the likelihood of unproductive "defensive" behaviors, like locking doors, avoiding going out for walks at night, and so forth.