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Welcoming Remarks and Charge to the Conference Jim Shrouds, Federal Highway Administration David L. Greene, Oak Ridge National Laboratory T he Conference on Integrating Sustainability into at the local level. By facilitating discussion and expand- the Transportation Planning Process began with a ing the horizons of participants, the conference is help- general session that included welcoming remarks ing to meet those challenges. from the conference sponsor and the conference com- David L. Greene, conference chair, welcomed partic- mittee chair. ipants to the conference and provided an overview of its Jim Shrouds, Director of the Office of Natural and structure and objectives. He charged participants to take Human Environment, Federal Highway Administration ownership of the conference and, through their partici- (FHWA), offered welcoming remarks on behalf of the pation, to contribute to the overall success of the ses- conference sponsor. He compared the challenges of sus- sions and of the conference. The role of the conference tainable transportation to those of "the perfect storm." committee members is to advise the U.S. government on The three storm systems that unite to create these chal- how to incorporate sustainability into transportation lenges are growth in population and employment, planning on the basis of the results of this conference. growth in travel and congestion, and growth in concern Dr. Greene requested that the participants provide infor- for the environment. mation and advice to committee members to assist them FHWA sees sustainable mobility as a systemwide issue in meeting this charge. and is undertaking various efforts in this area. In particu- Examples of working definitions of sustainability lar, cost-effective and sustainable mitigation research and were provided, including the definitions supported by development, ecosystem initiatives, and FHWA's Center the United Nations World Commission on Environment for Global Climate Change, which researches ways to and Development (the Brundtland Commission) and the reduce greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the definition provided in a joint statement of 63 of the impacts on transportation infrastructure from climate world's scientific academies. Society cannot be sustain- changes such as a rise in sea level, were noted. able if its parts are not sustainable, and transportation Three of the challenges that FHWA faces are (a) pro- not only must be sustainable but also must contribute to viding better linkages between transportation planning the sustainability of society. and environmental requirements in project develop- Dr. Greene noted that the conference has brought ment, (b) engaging stakeholders early and continuously together an outstanding group of participants and in the transportation planning process, and (c) improv- excellent speakers for a program focused on obtaining ing integration of transportation and land use planning participant input for the conference sponsors. 11