Free Report About Transportation Systems And Sustainable Ecological Technologies
Foundation Course – Name
Nature knows best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature,
but such change in a natural system is likely to be detrimental to that system.
Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle, 1971, New York.
London traffic problems are known all over the world, while travel time in a rush hour may increase dramatically. Rapid increase in London population has provoked an overall drastic shift from private transportation to public transport means, cycling and walking. Increase of public transport popularity has achieved 44% compared to 33% of public transport usage in 2012. Cycling is getting more popular in London with each year mainly due to extreme transportation problems of the Greater London. London statistics shows 80% increase of cycle travels since 2002, whereas the intensity of automobile transport in London is dropping since then. This tendency show clearly that with constantly increasing demand for travels the number of transport means used for transportation has dropped showing the acuteness of this problem in the big city (Table 1).
Speed of cycle transport seems to be greater and more sustainable than travel by a motor transportation means. Why this tendency is so widespread in the Greater London?
The Greater London Case
Analyzing the reasons for common London transportation problems we can outline the technical issues such as engineering works including improvements of railway tracks; the weather problems (rain, snow, strong wind harming the lines); system equipment malfunctioning like broken cars, signaling lights, broken escalators and electricity problems; staff strikes, demonstrations and shortages; passenger-related issues and security alerts. Any of these actions create tremendous transportation difficulties, overcrowded bus and train stops and road jams. All these heavy traffic difficulties create unfavorable living conditions and ecological problems. In order to outline the scale of the environmental impact we need to mention the volumes of harmful elements being thrown in the air, land and water. First, we have to mention the noise problem produce by both the Tube and the automobile transport means. The share of carbon dioxide and quantity of energy consumed are getting bigger with each year polluting the environment and habitable area substantially. The harmful waste in the form of hazardous gas emissions and oil by-products become extremely serious pollutants to wildlife and local habitants. Automobile transport, railways, Tube, water travelling means and small aviation compose a picture of an extremely polluted region of the Greater London, where the number of harmful substances and polluting elements outweigh the volume of healthy breathable air. Therefore, in order to improve the whole situation of the big city a number of measures was undertaken to improve the traffic and contribute to the rational and environment friendly use of habitat/land resources.
London administration took pains before the 2012 Olympic Games to implement transportation system, which might both improve the existing traffic burden on the streets of London and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and pollutant emissions to the air. Another target of transport system improvement aimed to diminish the related noise and vibration, which can damage people’s health and psychological condition. This could be achieved by implementing advanced biofuel technologies, reducing resource consumption and improving green procurement. Besides, what is more important for Greater London area is maintaining and enhancing the quality of London’s built and natural environment, reduction of waist generated by intense traffic activity by active applying of reduction, reuse and recycle principles. So let us consider the approaches promoted by the administration of London to the problems of transportation system. Introduction of this strategy is formulated in the following way: transport system of London has to become one of the world’s best and environment friendly, providing access to all people and enterprises; correspond to high ecological standards and be the world’s leading transport center of the 21st century. This strategy implies six major goals, which were achieved during preparatory Olympic campaign: stimulating economic growth of the city; increase of life quality; increase of security; broadening of transport diversity for citizens; diminishing of transports’ impact on the atmosphere pollution; and finally increase of transport availability (London Transport Strategy, 2010). Among measures that were able to make the life of citizens more comfortable, we can find free of charge ride on all transport means for older London citizens, pensioners and war veterans, this measure helped to minimize the number or cars on the streets. Long buses have disappeared from London streets as being less suitable for narrow streets of the Greater London and quite polluting due to older technologies. Starting from 2012 London administration purchased new Routemaster buses, corresponding to the ecological and technical demands. Besides, a special Oyster card, which earlier provided payment for metro (Tube) travels only, becomes available for river (Thames Clipper) and railway transport diversifying travel options for citizens allowing them to enjoy public service vehicle instead of personal cars. Active usage of railway and river transport made the burden on automobile travels less heavy, which to a greater extend also contributes to the ecological issue (London Transport Strategy, 2010). The so-called “Oysterization” of river option has become a new program of transportation intensification on the Thames River. There are certain plans of London administration to make Thames the epicenter of transport activity to decrease the negative impact from automobile emissions. Another project being worth mentioning deals with bicycle options. On summer 2010 a special London Cycle Hire Scheme was initiated aimed for cycle hiring. It has around 6000 of new cycles, available for rent on 400 different railway and metro stations in 8 districts of London, City and the Kingston Gardens. In order to get faster and more secure from point A to point B, the administration builds new cycle roads across the city. This project can be called a direct contribution to nature’s well-being and human health. Another chief transportation option in London is metro (Tube), which is still being modernized. However, this process during the preparatory Olympic campaign allowed to increase the number of passengers up to 30%, the speed of travel and the number of trains.
Despite the fact that major transport system changes occurred before 2012 for the Olympic Games preparation, city management continues successful attempts to find ecological and environment friendly solution to transport problems in London. One of the approaches includes a project tackling the Crossrails, which are supposed to increase the passengers’ stream up to 10% in 2017. This project is considered one of the biggest among the civil machinery building industry in Europe. Crossrails will allow to provide direct express transportations from west end to east end of London through the city center. Majority of road jams on London roads arises due to repair works carried out on different directions of the big city. It inevitably affects the environment pollution; therefore, the city management is planning to introduce a new code of conduct allowing to increase efficiency of coordination and planning of such repair projects. By minimizing the consequences of the road repair works and optimizing the transport streams, administration can decrease the burden on air pollution. Another important approach of environment friendly project, which could be implemented is optimization of light-signal work. Intervals and appropriateness of each light-signal functioning within the city has to be analyzed in order to make sure they give maximum time for transport streams allowing the passengers to cross the streets safely. All these measures will help to optimize transportation systems in London and decrease the amount of foul gazes in the atmosphere. However, in order to cope with the challenges of sustainable transport development we need to look at the future perspectives of transport means. Besides, purely administrative measures а transport usage optimization including development of public transport, physical activity events and cycling, there are approaches which should grasp sustainable technologies and renewable sources of energy.
New Transportation System Solutions
Simple analyses of different transportation systems types (in London and other big cities) showed that any kind of transport may have negative environmental issues despite obvious economic benefits. We can conclude that the level of transport development and the degree of wear out rate exercise a substantial impact on the level of environment polluting, the quantity of harmed people and rate of morbidity. In order to minimize and prevent certain negative impact of automobile transport on the environment it is extremely important to transit to the use of ecological and environmental friendly fuel types, like electricity, biofuel, internal combustion engines with increased efficiency, broad implementing of devices helping to decrease emission volumes for all types of transport. It makes sense to apply recycling water supply in the process of car wash. It is important to improve technical condition of transport means by strengthening the control over this process and limiting import of old cars with low exploitation characteristics. Another important aspect is road management such as planning and building of split-level crossroads and ring-roads, landscaping highways and creating special sanitary protection zones. Besides, any housing estates should be built at a certain distance from intensive roads and highways in order to protect people from negative impact of noise on their health.
Special attention should be paid to biofuel and electric capabilities of present technologies. Since new system should conform to sustainability in relation to economic, social and environmental issues, the approaches to using of biofuel and electricity should be tackles quite seriously. To gradually to come up with this task we can analyze examples of advantageously used biofuel, wind and solar projects in leading European countries. Though EU is highly dependent on fossil fuels there is a common understanding and concern for global warming problems, geopolitical threat of energy products supply due to political tension in Middle East. Therefore, EU adopted a strategic plan 2020 to encourage the development of sustainable technologies allowing to use renewable energy sources for transportation means. In 2014 EU Parliament presented the draft law claiming the utmost importance of advanced biofuels usage for transport and housing while conventional biofuels should amount to no more than 6% of all the final energy consumption in transportation system (European Biofuels Technology Platform, 2009). In order to achieve this ambitious target EU plans to substantially invest to advanced technologies aiming to develop and deploy sustainable transport fuels (cars working on electricity, purifies gas, etc). Here we would like to mention quite successful projects of wind and solar energy being implemented in Scandinavian countries, Germany, Italy and Belgium. Solar energy, being a renewable source, can provide cheap electricity and warmth to a vast majority of European houses, while wind energy can quite successfully be used for agricultural purposes (European Biofuels Technology Platform, 2009). In everyday life and for everyday routine it is possible today to use solar, wind and water energy not only in Europe but also worldwide. Biofuel of zoogenous and phytogenic nature can widely be implemented for house warming, simple manufacture production and agriculture works in Europe, US, South America, Australia, etc. These undepleted sources of energy are extremely environment friendly and their sustainable development is a guarantee of protected healthy future for other generations.
There is a wide range of measures that could be offered to improve the situation of environment pollution creating a friendly atmosphere and certain balance between traffic and nature. It is important while planning the quite residential areas to foresee the places for automobile parking such as underground parking, implementing devices controlling the noise level on the roads, setting up of transparent protective noise buffer sheets. Besides, we think that humanity should pay a more serious attention to the fact of electric cars usage developing this direction of car manufacturing business. Sustainable technologies is also a milestone project for railway transport; the primary importance according to our opinion, we should minimize the content of harmful substances in burnt gases of locomotives’ diesel engines by modernizing of fuel burning process in machine cylinders. Anti-smoke shields, special transparent films, preventing from cargo polluting, technologies preventing accidents on railroads, as well as technologies of water purification after locomotive and carriage wash – is by far not a complete list of necessary measures, which could make railway transport a bit more friendly to our environment. In order to minimize damage to water resources from water transport exploitation it makes sense to modernize the robustness and construction of boats. These steps could help to prevent accidents on water, especially accidents connected with oil and oil-products loss.
Monitoring Scheme and Enforcement Programs for the New Transportation Systems
Majority of European countries forbade the discarding of polluting components in internal waters and atmosphere for plants and enterprises. Besides, there are demands for all types of engines used for automobile, plane, water and railway transport, which diminish the amount of emitted hazardous gases. We assume that this forbidding measure should be supported globally via United Nations Conventions introduced to majority of countries willing to contribute to sustainable technologies. For these purposes, a special instruction should be outlined demanding that each boat has to possess certain capacities for utilization and detoxification of rubbish for its further transfer and recycling on the shore. For pipeline transport systems, we could recommend active applying of progressive technologies in sphere of building, diagnostic and exploitation of pipelines. Considering UK case, the Parliament ratified the legislation supporting renewable energy use by implementing The Renewable Obligation Scheme (2002), The Feed-in-Tariffs Scheme (2011) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (2011) (Ofgem, 2009).
Though majority of EU countries including UK has obvious financial constraints for active deployment of renewable sources due to high risk of investment into new technologies comparing to the conventional ones, governments realize the importance of environment issues. Therefore, special enforcement programs and monitoring schemes are constantly elaborated by the developed European countries. Among such we may outline low interest loans for implementation of risky new sustainable technologies; tax credits and holidays for investors undertaking the risk of biomass energy development especially on early stages (London Transport Strategy 2010). There are also programs of special cost recovery mechanisms for new sustainable fuel based technologies; and finally, redistribution of government spending in order to increase the share of financial resources invested in renewable technologies comparing with conventional ones. In the UK renewable sources program include the so-called “Renewable Obligations Certificate” grasping the benefits of tax rebate and direct financial investments for enterprises coming over to new advanced biofuel and electricity sources supply while the governmental program supposes the partial transition to renewables before 2020 under the Climate Change Levy/Carbon Trust and Emission Trading Scheme (2002) (Ofgem, 2009)
Conclusion, Advice and Future Studies
Nature is an integral ecosystem representing the world in all its eternal diversity. Violation of these diversity leads to changes of previously established circulation of energy and matter. Modern society involves in production and consumption such an amount of matter and energy, which hundred times exceeds biological needs of a human being, provoking recent ecological crises. One of the major polluting factors influencing the quality of environment is transport. Different transport means consume oxygen, making substantial emissions of toxic components into the atmosphere damaging its delicate balance. Contribution of transport system to air polluting compose approximately 60-90% (World Economic Forum, 2012). Big cities become a real epicenter of transport problems for their inhabitants in both aspects: ecological and infrastructural. Impact of present transportation system on ecology is tremendous due to significant volumes of noise and harmful waste being exposed on streets, city rivers, atmosphere and land, which affects human health and quality of life. Alongside with technical and technological measures preventing negative impact on environment and/or eliminating it altogether we have to apply economic instruments as well. These tools should deal with decrease of taxation for enterprises, which use ecological friendly sustained technologies (advanced biofuel, recycling innovative technologies, foul gas shields); besides, a severe fine system (like in Scandinavian countries) should be introduced for enterprises ignoring environmental legislation. Government has to take the task of controlling agent in order to distribute proportionately quotes on environment pollution among problem enterprises/manufacturers and actively participate in different economic and ecological projects aimed to minimize human activity and transport impact on nature and encourage the development of sustainable technologies free of harmful waste, pollution and damage. Future studies on the subject may involve elaboration of energy schemes, transition to new advanced environmental technologies by small businesses, grants for special equipment purchase and active public promotion of environment friendly activities.
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