Desirable transport futures

S. Gössling, S.A. Cohen, J.E.S. Higham, PM Peeters, E Eijgelaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This overview article for the special issue on ‘Desirable Transport Futures’ sets out with a brief introduction of the current development of the global transport system, suggesting that it remains unclear whether transport systems are heading towards desirable change. This desirability is defined as a reduction in the system's negative externalities, including accidents, congestion, pollutants and/or noise, while retaining its functionality. There is evidence that transport externalities continue to grow with an increasingly mobile and growing global population. Against this background, the article discusses what may constitute more desirable transport futures, as well as the barriers that have to be overcome to move towards such futures. The article concludes that transport governance will be essential to far-reaching change, and that greater focus has to be placed on individual and societal socio-psychological perspectives shaping mobility consumption. Nine papers contained in this special issue provide in-depth analyses of transport systems, as well as insight into how these may be changed in more systemic ways. A concluding research agenda is offered that outlines a number of innovative approaches researchers may pursue as part of further efforts to engender desirable transport futures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-309
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
VolumeVolume 61, Part B
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


  • barriers policy
  • transport futures
  • desirability
  • systemic change
  • Policy
  • Systemic change
  • Barriers
  • Desirability
  • Transport futures


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