Brock University TREN 3P18
Meetings: 1 lecture/ week:
Wed: 14:00 -17:00
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
Synthesis Sessions and Reports Synthesis
Weekly Readings Lecture Schedule Online Lecture Notes Bibliography
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.
Synthesis Session Reports (2 x 25 %) 50 % Participation and attendance 10 % Peer evaluation 10%
Final examination (Tuesday 22 April 2014 - 09:00 - 12:00 - Ian D. Beddis Gym) 30 % 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.
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 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.
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).
The examination will be comprehensive, covering all lecture material, assigned readings, synthesis sessions, guest speaker presentations, video, and multimedia resources. Format will include definitions, short answer questions, and concise essay questions.
Value is 30% of your total course grade.
(subject to modification)
- Course Introduction
- Review of course outline
- Peer photos
- The Romance of Transportation in Canada (National Film Board of Canada, 1952) [11 min]
- What on Earth? (National Film Board of Canada, 1966) [9 min 35 s]
- Roger and Me (Michael Moore, 1989) [91 min]
On your own:
Review: Principles of Sustainability / Policy
PowerPoint: Principles of sustainability
- PowerPoint: Policy Overview
Week 2 15 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 Jan 2014).
Week 3 22 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
Cultural perspectives on auto dependency
Marketing and Car Names
- Car Crazy (Episode II)
- Design for Dreaming (Episode III)
- Automania, 1984
- 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.
05 Feb International Perspectives on Mobility
Transit in Hong Kong
- Car-free Community of Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
- 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)
- Gan, Lin. 2003. Globalization of the automobile industry in China: dynamics and barriers in greening of the road transportation. Energy Policy 31: 537–551
- 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.
- Discovery Bay. 2011. Wikipedia. Available online at URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Bay (current to 10 Jan 2011)
- TRANSIT IN HONG KONG
- CAR-FREE COMMUNITY OF DISCOVERY BAY
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON MOBILITY - postponed to Week 8 due to weather problems
Week 6 10 Feb
Synthesis Report 1 due by MIDNIGHT. Upload to the Synthesis Report 1 folder in the 'Resources' section of Sakai.
12 Feb Synthesis Session 1:
In-class group presentations by all students
Week 7 19 Feb READING WEEK - NO CLASSES Week 8 26 Feb International Perspectives on Mobility (cont'd)
- INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON MOBILITY
Alternative fuels for transportation / Electric vehicles
- Paine, Chris (director). 2006. Who killed the electric car? Sony Pictures Classics. 93 minutes. See press kit and website at http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/electric.html (current to 15 March 2007).
Readings - Alternative fuels:
- Reed, Philip. 2006. Ethanol? Fuel cell? Biodiesel? An Alternative Fuel Overview. Available online at URL http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/ethanol-fuel-cell-biodiesel-an-alternative-fuel-overview.html (current to 27 Jan 2012) or on Sakai.
- Boyle, Grant. 2005. An Overview of Alternative Transport Fuels in Developing Countries: Drivers, Status, and Factors Influencing Market Deployment. Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Alternatives in the Transport Sector: Issues for Developing Countries. United Nations University International Conference, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 7-9 November 2005. Available online at
(current to 27 Jan 2012)., or on Sakai.
- Herbst, Moira. 2007. Ethanol's growing list of enemies. Business Week, 19 March 2007. Available on Sakai.
- Ontario. Ministry of Transportation. 2007. New and Alternative Vehicles Information Update. Available online at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/index.html
Week 9 05 Mar
Transportation Alternatives: Urban Planning case study / Trails and Greenways
Urban Planning case studies (historical and recent):
- Brown, David T. and John Middleton. 1993. Of Progeny, Parking, and Progressive Policies. Downtowner May June 1993 (1660.4 KB) Available on Sakai.
- Paul, Fred. 1993. Rebuttal to Brown and Middleton parking article - Downtowner July August 1993 (1634.9 KB) Available on Sakai.
- Brown, David T. 1993. A Further Explanation. Downtowner Sept Oct 1993. (3641.2 KB) Available on Sakai.
- City of St. Catharines. 2010. Garden City Plan (excerpt): Parking [pp.25-26]. Available on Sakai.
- Taddeo,Lisa. 2010. Did you notice Janette Sadik-Khan just remade the streets of New York? Esquire 154(5) Dec 2010 pp 158-174. Available online at http://www.esquire.com/print-this/janette-sadik-khan-1210?page=all
Week 10 12 Mar CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO POOR WEATHER
(LECTURE MATERIAL CONDENSED INTO REMAINING CLASS PERIODS)
Week 11 19 Mar Carbon offset overview - PowerPoint presentation
Carbon offset guides
- David Suzuki Foundation / Pembina Institute. 2009. Purchasing Carbon Offsets - A Guide for Canadian Consumers, Businesses, and Organizations.
- Clean Air - Cool Planet. 2006. A Consumer's Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers. Trexler Climate and Energy Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA. Available online at URL: http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf (current to 27 Jan 2012).
- Carbon offset. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset
- David Suzuki Foundation / Pembina Institute. 2009. Purchasing Carbon Offsets - A Guide for Canadian Consumers, Businesses, and Organizations.
Some "plane talk" about carbon offsetting:
- Plane Stupid. The Armchair Environmentalist's Guide to Offsets. Available online at URL http://www.planestupid.com/offset (current to 27 Jan 2012).
Autos, Urban Form, and Fossil Fuels
BEFORE COMING TO CLASS:
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 Jan 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 10 Jan 2011)
- Laxer, Gordon. 2005. If our NAFTA partners can have national energy programs, why can’t we? Canadian Perspectives, Spring/Summer 2005. Available online at: http://www.canadians.org/publications/CP/2005/spring/CP_summer_05_energy.pdf
- Jaccard, Mark. 2006. Sustainable Fossil Fuels. Interview with Mark Jaccard on Quirks and Quarks (CBC Radio), 04 March 2006.
- 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.
Is the age of cheap oil about to come to an end? According to many experts, we are about to reach the point of "peak oil", the level at which supply can no longer keep up with demand. This, say the doomsayers, could send economies spinning into turmoil and up-end our comfortable, urban lifestyles. But others claim predictions like this are simply scaremongering. They believe supply will match demand for decades to come. So who’s telling the truth? ‘Peak Oil’ investigates.
Transportation on Vacation I: Air Travel and Greenhouse Gases
Some brief articles on additional transportation concepts of relevance (total approximately 10 pages):
- 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 synopsis an links at http://www.cbc.ca/passionateeyemonday/feature_240907.html)
Commercial aviation and its impacts:
- BBC NEWS. 2005. Aviation 'huge threat to CO2 aim' . Available online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4266466.stm (published: 2005/09/21; current to 27 Jan 2012).
- Plane stupid: 10 reasons to ground the plane. Available online at http://www.planestupid.com/10reasons (current to 27 Jan 2012).
Renewed potential of shipping for goods transport:
- Forsyth, Paul. 2007. Hwy. H2O. Niagara This Week, Friday 23 March 2007, p.9.
Carbon emission calculators for aviation
- Atmosfair - http://atmosfair.de/index.php?id=9&L=3
- ClimateCare - https://www.jpmorganclimatecare.com/business/business-co2-calculator/
- LivClean - http://www.livclean.ca/calculator.php
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.
Week 13 MONDAY 31 Mar Synthesis Report 2 due by MIDNIGHT. Upload to the Synthesis Report 2 folder in the 'Resources' section of Sakai. Wed 02 April SYNTHESIS SESSION 2 and course wrap-up
IN-CLASS GROUP PRESENTATION BY ALL STUDENTS
Wed 09 April SYNTHESIS SESSION 2 Online Peer Evaluation due by MIDNIGHT, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Synthesis_Session_2_Peer_Evaluation_Survey FINAL EXAMINATION TUESDAY 22 Apr FINAL EXAMINATION - 09:00-12:00 - IAN D. BEDDIS GYM (WALKER COMPLEX)
Online Lecture Notes
Right-click to download or left-click to view in browser:
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 both Brock University and Otago libraries. 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, 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)
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)
The Fine Print: University Policies and Regulations for Academic and Non-Academic Conduct
For TREN 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: