With shifting political priorities and accumulating scientific evidence, the role of governments and institutions in transportation policy-making has changed significantly over the past four decades. Concepts such as congestion pricing, technology-based transportation network companies (e.g., Uber), privatized toll roads, and targeted greenhouse gas reduction have gained traction as elements of a broad transportation policy both in the developed and the developing world, while longstanding challenges related to heavily subsidized mass transportation, growth in automobiles, and informal transport continue to intensify. The appropriateness of specific investments, their impacts on the environment and on specific subpopulations continue to be dominant themes of politics and decision-making. At local, federal, and global levels, transportation continues to play a central role in concerns about sustainability, from local food buying to the threat of peak oil and climate change to the Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by the United Nations and its member countries.
Prerequisite: PLAN 636; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.