History of sustainable and unsustainable transportation: from walking to wheels and back to walking
The history of transportation is a fascinating and vast field spanning millennia, from human evolution to the exploration of space. This chapter outlines some of the important themes and issues relevant to sustainable transportation and suggests ways in which they should inform planning and policy-making. It focuses on principally on land transport and major forms of transportation and infrastructure. The chapter explores the main transportation modalities whose history is related to: walking, water and maritime travel, sleds and related mobility devices, animal-assisted transport, wheeled apparatus, mechanization and motorization, air travel, and communications and telecommunications. Walking remains the dominant mode around the planet; even in the highly motorized countries, there is usually a pedestrian component to most motorized trips, whether by transit or personal motor vehicle. The chapter discusses water and marine travel. Travel between coastal communities, along river systems and across large bodies of water resulted in increased trade, population exchanges and forms of warfare.