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Brock University TMGT / GEOG 3P18 
Sustainable Transportation


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Meetings: 1 meeting per week: 
Mon. 14:00 - 17:00 (3 hours)
Room TH 246
Lecture and synthesis session attendance are mandatory  
Instructor: David T. Brown
Office: Mackenzie Chown Room C-425
Telephone: Office: 905-688-5550 x.3293



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About Synthesis Sessions and Reports Synthesis Session 
Question Form
Peer Evaluation
Survey Links
Weekly Readings


Lecture Schedule Online Lecture Notes Bibliography
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smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Introduction
Motorized mobility and affordable travel bring many significant environmental, social, and economic impacts, both positive and negative. Affluent people consider personal mobility to be a right, and even those of modest means aspire to travel. Can we manage the consequences of our ever-increasing quest for mobility? Can transportation be made more sustainable? This course is an interdisciplinary international survey of the cultural, social and economic impacts of transportation and its effects on built and natural environments.

A major focus of the course is the automobile and its impacts and alternatives. Other transport modes (aircraft, rail, cruise ships and watercraft, cycling, snowmobiles, ATVs, and other specialized transportation) may also be considered. The course makes extensive use of multimedia (film, video and online resources) integrated into in-class lectures, discussions and presentations. Students will also participate in peer-led interdisciplinary synthesis sessions.

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Synthesis Session Reports (2 x 35 %) 70 %
Participation  10 %
Class attendance 10 %
Peer evaluation 10 %
Total 100 %
  • Late assignments are penalized at the rate of 33.3% per day, 7 days per week.

  • Plagiarism will result in an automatic grade of zero on the assignment and possible university disciplinary action. Computer-assisted anti-plagiarism tools may be employed.

  • Students must know and abide by the policies and regulations of their respective institutions regarding appropriate conduct, academic misconduct, and plagiarism. See The Fine Print (below) for further details.

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smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Synthesis Sessions and Reports




Integrating and making sense of interdisciplinary information from various sources is a major objective of this course. Synthesis sessions are designed to allow interaction with your peers in a small group setting to discuss the implications and linkages of each topic in more detail.

Small discussion groups of 4 - 5 students will be formed for each synthesis session. Prior to each session, a handout of Synthesis Session discussion questions (see above) will be made available electronically. In small-group format, each group member will be responsible for answering one of the questions in detail and leading discussion within the group on this topic, integrating the material presented from all sources within the thematic framework of the course. Each group member will be allotted about 30 minutes for discussion and presentation within the first 2.5 hours of class. You will be asked to evaluate your peers on their participation and performance in the small-group discussion sessions.

In the third hour of class on synthesis week, we will re-convene for a brief plenary discussion of the questions. 

A properly formatted written synthesis report must be submitted electronically on Sakai to all your peers in the course by midnight two days before each synthesis session. Each synthesis  report will consist of a concise (maximum 1500 words) response to the question for which you are responsible

Substantiate your response and conclusions with properly formatted, academically credible references from outside sources and from course readings. Aim for a minimum of 10 references, at least half of which should be from peer-reviewed academic journals or similar credible academic sources.

Prior to the synthesis session, prepare four brief questions for your peers, one for each of the other topics that you do not report on yourself. These questions do not have to be submitted with your synthesis report. You will prepare them to ensure that there will be plenty of relevant discussion in your group during the question periods, and to evaluate the way in which your peers respond.

The instructor reserves the right to make use of computerized anti-plagiarism tools to screen all submitted assignments.

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smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Weekly Readings

Readings and resources for each week will be posted on Sakai or (rarely) placed on reserve in the Brock University library. See list of readings and resources in Lecture Schedule (below).
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smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Exam
There is no final examination in this course. 

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smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Lecture Schedule
        (subject to modification)

Week 1

04 Jan
  • Course Introduction
  • Review of course outline
  • Expectations
  • Peer photos
Transportation Filmfest:

On your own:

Review: Principles of Sustainability / Policy
  • PowerPoint: Principles of sustainability


  • PowerPoint: Policy Overview
  • Middleton, John. 2002. Sustainable Development Policy. Pp 422 - 426 in Tolba, Mostafa K. Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, Volume 4, Responding to global environmental change, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, 2002.
Week 2
11 Jan Sustainable transportation - definitions and performance indicators
  • What is sustainable transportation?


Gilbert, Richard and Katharine Myrans. 2003. Sustainable Transportation Performance Indicators. Environment Canada / Centre for Sustainable Transportation. 18 pp. Available in PDF format at http://cst.uwinnipeg.ca/documents/STPI_synopsis.pdf (current to 15 Aug 2014).

Week 3
18 Jan

The Economic, Environmental, and Social Costs of the Car


  • Part 1 (pp.3-70) of Zuckermann, Wolfgang. 1991. End of the Road: The World Car Crisis and How We Can Solve It. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Post Mills, Vermont. Also available in the Brock library (HE 5611 Z83 1991).
  • Litman, Todd. 2002. The Costs of Automobile Dependency and the Benefits of Balanced Transportation. Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
  • See also: Online lecture notes

Workshop Exercise: The Costs of the Car 


Week 4

25 Jan

The Economic, Environmental, and Social Costs of the Car (cont'd)

Cultural perspectives on auto dependency

Marketing and Car Names


  • Car Crazy (Episode II)
  • Design for Dreaming (1956 GM Motorama)
  • My Car is my Lover
                          - BBC America Reveals, 2009
Meet Edward and Jordan. They are mechaphiles -- men who are sexually obsessed by cars. They regularly chat online, but this program sees them undertake the journey of a lifetime to attend a huge car convention.

Both VW Beetle owners, the men reveal their stories and what it's like to have a "full" relationship with a car. But how will the men react when faced with a huge beauty parade of metal and rubber, and will they be able to remain faithful?



  • Autoeroticism. 1989. Design Quarterly No. 146.  Walker Art Center. Issue Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/i385660

  • Freund, Peter and George Martin. 1993. Chapter 5: The Ideology of the Automobile and Chapter 6: The Phenomenology of Automobility. Pp. 81-110 in: The Ecology of the Automobile. Black Rose Books, Montreal.

  • Pettifer, Julian and Nigel Turner. 1984. Car Crazy. Chapter 4 (pp. 82-107) in Automania : Man and the Motor Car. London: Collins, 289 pp.


Week 5

01 Feb
  • Video presentation:
  • Design for Dreaming (Episode III)
                          - Automania, 1984. 30 Minutes. 

  • International Perspectives on Mobility I
    • Transit in Hong Kong
    • Car-free Community of Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

    Video presentation:

    • Cars versus People (Episode II, Automania, 1984). 30 Minutes.


    • Pettifer, Julian and Nigel Turner. 1984. The Car and the Developing World. Chapter 5 (pp.108-123) in Automania : Man and the Motor Car. London: Collins, 289 pp.
    • Dahl, Richard 2005. Heavy Traffic Ahead: Car Culture Accelerates. Environmental Health Perspectives 113(4): A229-A245 (April 2005)
    • Discovery Bay. 2011. Wikipedia. Available online at URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Bay (current to 10 Aug 2011)
    Week 6
    06 Feb
    Synthesis Report 1 due by MIDNIGHT. Upload to the Synthesis Report 1 folder in the 'Resources' section of Sakai.
    08 Feb
    SYNTHESIS SESSION 1: In-class group presentations by all students
    Week 7
    15 Feb SYNTHESIS SESSION 1 ONLINE PEER EVALUATION due by MIDNIGHT, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Synth1_2016
    Week 8
    22 Feb International Perspectives on Mobility II (cont'd.)

    PowerPoint: Automobility in China, India, and Cuba

    Alternative fuels for transportation / Electric vehicles

    Video presentation:

    Readings - International Perspectives on Mobility II:
  • Gan, Lin. 2003. Globalization of the automobile industry in China: dynamics and barriers in greening of the road transportation.
         Energy Policy 31: 537–55

  • Sen, Ashish Kumar. Out here the Nano is a No-No. Outlook 28 January 2008 p71
  • Dasgupta, Debarshi. Earning Carma. Outlook 28 January 2008 p.72
  • Powell, Bill. 2008. The Short March. Time (Canadian edition) 171(8):30-36 (25 February 2008). Available in condensed electronic
        version at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1713336,00.html or on Sakai.
  • Readings - Alternative fuels:

    See also:

    Ontario. Ministry of Transportation. 2015. 
    Week 9

    29 Feb

    Autos, Urban Form, and Fossil Fuels


    Articles  (several, but short!!):

    • Sewell, John. 2003. Breaking the suburban habit. Alternatives Journal. Waterloo: Summer 2003. Vol.29, Iss. 3; pg. 22. Available online through ProQuest database (current to 19 Aug 2014) or on Sakai.
    •  Jaccard, Mark. 2005.Sustainable Fossil Fuels: The Unusual Suspect in the Quest for Clean and Enduring Energy. Full Synopsis and Reading Guide. Available on Sakai.
    • Barlow, Maude. 2010. Escape from Mordor: In order to reverse the death of nature, Canada must tackle its trade agreements with the U.S. New Internationalist 431:11 (available online at http://www.newint.org/features/2010/04/01/free-trade/ - current to 30 Dec 2015)
    • Laxer, Gordon. 2005. If our NAFTA partners can have national energy programs, why can’t we? Canadian Perspectives, Spring/Summer 2005. Available on Sakai.
    • Jaccard, Mark. 2006. Sustainable Fossil Fuels. Interview with Mark Jaccard on Quirks and Quarks (CBC Radio), 04 March 2006. Available on Sakai.


    Video presentation:

    • The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream (2004). Hosted by Barrie Zwicker. Featuring James Howard Kunstler, Peter Calthorpe, Michael Klare, Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons, Michael C. Ruppert, Julian Darley, Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeyes, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari and Steve Andrews. Directed by Gregory Greene. Produced by Barry Silverthorn. Duration: 78 minutes. The Electric Wallpaper Co., PO Box 13, Paris ON N3L 3E5 Canada.
    Week 10

    07 Mar

    Autos, Urban Form, and Fossil Fuels (cont'd)

    Video presentation:

    Revenge of the Electric Car
    (Chris Paine - 2011)

    In Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of car is America’s future: fast, furious, and cleaner than ever. With almost every major car maker now jumping to produce new electric models, Revenge follows the race to be the first, the best, and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world. It’s not just the next generation of green cars that’s on the line. It’s the future of the automobile itself. Revenge of the Electric Car is narrated by Tim Robbins. The primary cast includes CEO and President of Renault and Nissan Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk, Former Vice Chairman of GM Bob Lutz and EV do-it-yourselfer Greg “Gadget” Abbott. 

    Transportation Alternatives: Urban Planning case study / Trails and Greenways

    Urban Planning case studies (historical and recent):

    Week 11
    14 Mar

    Carbon offset overview - PowerPoint presentation

    Carbon offset guides

    Carbon offsets

    Some "plane talk" about carbon offsetting:

    Transportation on Vacation I: Air Travel and Greenhouse Gases

    Video Presentation:

    • Aston, Ceri and Mike Wiseman. 2007. Should I really give up flying? Video documentary, BBC 2 (Manchester), January 2007 - 46 Minutes. Broadcast in Canada on CBC TV's The Passionate Eye on 24 September 2007 (see related links at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/flying/default.stm)
    Some brief articles on additional transportation concepts of relevance (total approximately 10 pages):

    Commercial aviation and its impacts:

    Renewed potential of shipping for goods transport:

    Carbon emission calculators for aviation


    Week 12

    21 Mar

    Transportation on vacation II: Cruise ships and their impacts

    Readings available on Sakai:

    Cruise ship references

    • Howitt, Oliver J.A., Vincent G.N. Revol, Inga J. Smith, Craig J. Rodger. 2010. Carbon emissions from international cruise ship passengers' travel to and from New Zealand. Energy Policy 38 (2010) 2552-2560. Available on Sakai.

    • Copeland Claudia 2008 Cruise Ship Pollution - US Congressional Research Report (CRS Report for Congress) no. RL32450 (see summary, p.2). Available on Sakai.
    • Johnson, David. 2002.  Environmentally sustainable cruise tourism: a reality check. Marine Policy 26(4): 261-270 (July 2002). Available online through Brock University and Otago University library e-journals in PDF or HTML formats and on Sakai.

    • Bluewater Network / Friends of the Earth. 2006. Cruise Ships: More Ships, More Passengers, More Pollution. Available on Sakai.

    Read Chapter 2 - Environmental Effects of Cruise Ships (pp. 7-23) in:

    • New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. 2003. Just cruising? Environmental effects of cruise ships. Wellington: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. 56 pp. Available on Sakai.

    Read Acknowledgements, Foreword, Executive Summary (pp. 1-5) and Conclusions (p.51) in:

    • Centre for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) / Conservation International. 2006. From Ship to Shore: Sustainable Stewardship in Cruise Destinations. Special report, CELB. 52 pp. Available on Sakai.
    26 Mar
    Synthesis Report 2 due by MIDNIGHT. Upload to the Synthesis Report 2 folder in the 'Resources' section of Sakai. 
    28 Mar SYNTHESIS SESSION 2 and course wrap-up
    Week 14 (post-lecture) 
    04 Apr SYNTHESIS SESSION 2 ONLINE PEER EVALUATION  due by MIDNIGHT, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Synthesis_Session_2_Peer_Evaluation (Details forthcoming)


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    smlight.gif (1129 bytes)  Online Lecture Notes

    Available on Sakai. 
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    smlight.gif (1129 bytes) Bibliography roadway.gif (15297 bytes)

    The following is a brief and non-exhaustive compendium of print and online material relevant to this course. Not all print materials are accessible at the Brock University library. Exact Library of Congress classification codes may vary amongst different libraries.

    Alternatives Journal. 1998. Cars vs Transit (special theme issue). Pages 16 - 42. Volume 24, Number 1, Winter 1998. Periodical PER HC 79 E5 A45 V.24, 1998.

    Bottles, Scott. 1987. Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City. University of California Press, Berkeley. (HE 5634 L7 B68 1987)

    Dunn, James A.1998. Driving forces : the automobile, its enemies, and the politics of mobility. Brookings Institution, Washington,<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jkRIu5a6Sb0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> D.C. (HE 5623 D86 1998)

    Engwicht, David. 1993. Reclaiming our cities and towns: Better living with less traffic. New Society publishers, Gabriola Island, B.C. (HT 166 E54 1993)

    Flink, James J. 1975. The car culture. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.(TL 23 F572)

    Freund, Peter and George Martin. 1993. The Ecology of the Automobile. Black Rose Books, Montreal. (HE 5613 F73 1993)

    Gordon, Deborah. 1991. Steering a New Course: Transportation, Energy, and the Environment. Union of Concerned Scientists. Island Press, Washington, D.C. (HE 5623 G67 1991)

    Jennings, Jan. 1990. Roadside America : the automobile in design and culture. Iowa State University Press / Society for Commercial Archeology. Ames, Iowa. (HE 5623 R62 1990).

    Litman, Todd. 2002. The Costs of Automobile Dependency and the Benefits of Balanced Transportation. Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Available in PDF format at www.vtpi.org/ecodev.pdf (current to 22 Jan 2005).

    Litman, Todd.2006. Evaluating Transportation Equity: Guidance For Incorporating Distributional Impacts in Transportation Planning. Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 18 January 2006. Available in PDF format at  http://www.vtpi.org/equity.pdf (current to 22 Jan 2005).

    Mackenzie, James J. 1994. The Keys to the Car: Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles for the 21st Century. World Resources Institute. WRI Publications, Baltimore, Maryland. (TD 886.5 M25 1994)

    Mackenzie, James J. and Michael P. Walsh. 1990. Driving Forces: Motor Vehicle Trends and Their Implications for Global Warming, Energy Strategies, and Transportation Planning. World Resources Institute. WRI Publications, Baltimore, Maryland. (TD 886.5 M33 1990)

    Mathew, Don and Andrew Rothwell. 1991. The Environmental Impact of the Car. Greenpeace International, The Netherlands.

    McShane, Clay. 1994. Down the Asphalt Path: The Automobile and the American City. Columbia University Press, New York. (HE 5623 M34 1994)

    Nadis, Steve and James J. MacKenzie. 1993. Car Trouble. World Resources Institute Guide to the Environment. Beacon Press, Boston. (TD 886.5 N3 1993)

    Newman, Peter W.G. and Jeffrey R. Kenworthy. 1989. Cities and automobile dependence : a sourcebook. Gower Books, Brookfield, Vt. (HT 166 E54 1993)

    ORTEE / NRTEE (Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy / National Round Table on Environment and Economy). 1995. A Strategy for Sustainable Transportation in Ontario: Report of the Transportation and Climate Change Collaborative.   ISBN 0-7778-4672-1 (no publisher imprint).

    Renner, Michael. 1988. Rethinking the role of the automobile. Worldwatch Paper 84. Worldwatch Institute, Washington. (HE 5613 R37 1988)

    Rock, Maxine. 1992. The Automobile and the Environment. Chelsea House Publishers, New York. (TD 886.5 R64 1992)

    Safdie, Moshe (with Wendy Kohn). 1997. The City After the Automobile: An architect's vision. Stoddart Publishing, Toronto. (HT 371 S23 1997)

    Schiller, Preston L., Eric C. Bruun and Jeffrey R. Kenworthy. 2010. An introduction to sustainable transportation : policy, planning and implementation. London ; Washington : Earthscan. (U of O permalink

    Shiau,Tzay-an, Min-Wei Huang, and Wen-Ya Lin. 2014. DevCar Crazy - Candid Car Confessions 2014.ppteloping an Indicator System for Measuring Taiwan’s Transport Sustainability. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 9: 81–92

    Sloman, Lynn. 2006. Car sick : solutions for our car-addicted culture. Chelsea Green Pub. Co. White River Junction, Vt. (HE 336 P43 S46 2006)

    Vanderwagen, Joell. 1991. Transit in Canada: A Handbook for Environmentalists. Greenpeace Canada, Toronto.

    Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Various dates. TDM (Transportation Demand Management) Encyclopedia.
    Available in PDF format at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/ (current to 22 Jan 2005).

    Zielinski, Sue and Gordon Laird (eds.). 1995. Beyond the Car: Essays on auto culture. Steel Rail Publishing / Transportation Options, Toronto. (HE 5613 B48 1995) 

    Zuckermann, Wolfgang. 1991. End of the Road: The World Car Crisis and How We Can Solve It. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Post Mills, Vermont. (HE 5611 Z83 1991)

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    smlight.gif (1129 bytes) The Fine Print: University Policies and Regulations for Academic and Non-Academic Conduct

    For TMGT / GEOG 3P18: Sustainable Transportation, 

    • Late assignments are penalized at the rate of 33.3% per day, 7 days per week.

    • Plagiarism will result in an automatic grade of zero on the assignment and possible university disciplinary action. Computer-assisted anti-plagiarism tools may be employed by the instructor.

    • Students must know and abide by the policies and regulations of their respective institutions regarding appropriate conduct, academic misconduct, and plagiarism:

    Brock University: Academic Regulations and University Policies,
    including but not limited to:
    Brock University: Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures
    Brock University: Evaluation of Student Performance
    Brock University: Academic Misconduct


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