Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Defining Sustainability for Your Agency A-1 Appendix A Defining Sustainability for Your Agency Here we propose a generally applicable approach to defining sustainability that transportation agencies can easily implement. The approach is shown graphically in Figure A-1, followed by a description of the individual steps and an example of how the guidance can be used to develop a definition of sustainability. The approach can also be used for entities within an agency (such as a district, department, or division) to define sustainability as it relates to them. Figure A-1. Steps to develop a sustainability definition. Step 1 â Review Sustainability Principles Any definition of sustainability should be grounded in the basic principles of sustainability, which have been defined in this research as shown in the following. Sustainability entails meeting human needs for the present and future while: â¢ Preserving and restoring environmental and ecological systems, â¢ Fostering community health and vitality, â¢ Promoting economic development and prosperity, and â¢ Ensuring equity between and among population groups and over generations.
A-2 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies st ep , a gencie s s houl d r evie w a nd understand th e b as ic principles of sust ainability as a s tartin g point to developing a d ef ini tion. Step 2 â Consider th e C onte xt Th e c ontex t i n w hich sust ainability is bein g c onsidered is important in se tting boundaries an d contex t f or th e d ef init io n b eing developed. Th es e c onsiderations include â¢ Function, â¢ Scope, and â¢ Stakeholders. Step 3 â Id en ti fy Goal -R elat ed Keywords /Phras es Ta bl e A -1 show s t he 11 goals fo r s ustainability in tr anspor tatio n d ef ined as part of th e fra mework . T hese goals help define a s et of keyw or ds (a ls o s how n i n T able A- 1) that agencies can sel ect fro m a nd incorporat e b ased on thei r s pe ci fi c c ontext, concerns , a nd pr ioritie s. The lis t of possibl e k eywo rd s i s not mean t t o b e e xhaustive but to provide an idea of issues that agencies ma y w an t t o h igh light in thei r d ef initions . While workin g a ll aspect s o f s ustainability into a s ingl e d ef initio n m ay so metime s b e d if fi cult, it is recommende d t ha t e lement s f ro m a ll four princi ples be re fl ected in th e d ef init ion. In this fi rs t
Defining Sustainability for Your Agency A-3 Table A-1. Transportation sustainability goals and keywords/phrases. Transportation Sustainability Goals 1. Safety â Provide a safe transportation system for users and the general public. 2. Basic accessibility â Provide a transportation system that offers accessibility that allows people to fulfill at least their basic needs. 3. Equity/equal mobility â Provide options that allow affordable and equitable transportation opportunities for all sections of society. 4. System efficiency â Ensure that the transportation systemâs functionality and efficiency are maintained and enhanced. 5. Security â Ensure that the transportation system is secure from, ready for, and resilient to threats from all hazards. 6. Prosperity â Ensure that the transportation systemâs development and operation support economic development and prosperity. 7. Economic viability â Ensure the economic feasibility of transportation investments over time. 8. Ecosystems â Protect and enhance environmental and ecological systems while developing and operating transportation systems. 9. Waste generation â Reduce waste generated by transportation-related activities. 10. Resource consumption â Reduce the use of nonrenewable resources and promote the use of renewable replacements. 11. Emissions and air quality â Reduce transportation-related emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Goal-Related Keywords/Phrases â¢ Safety â¢ Accessibility â¢ Options/equity â¢ Efficiency â¢ Security â¢ Support for economic development â¢ Feasibility â¢ Reduce emissions â¢ Affordability â¢ Choices â¢ Health â¢ Trade â¢ Environmental sensitivity â¢ Efficient use of resources â¢ Use of renewable resources Step 4 â Develop Sustainability Definition Developing a definition of sustainability involves putting the elements identified in Steps 1 through 3 together into a statement that encapsulates the agencyâs understanding of what sustainability is and the agencyâs intent in applying concepts of sustainability. Example of Developing a Sustainability Definition Agency Y is a small MPO serving an area of 60,000 people, focused mostly on multimodal transportation planning. Step 1 â Agency Y reviewed the principles of sustainability to develop an understanding of the subject.
A-4 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Step 2 â A genc y s taff identifie d t he fo llowing issues of re levance: (1 ) s mall ur ba n a rea, (2) bus , bike , p edestr ia n f acilit ie s i n a dditio n t o m ot or vehi cles , ( 3) fo cu s o n p lanning , ( 4) include local st akeholde rs . Step 3 â T he following were identi fi ed as goal- re la te d k eywo rd s t o b e i nc or porated into th e definition: accessibility, economic developmen t, an d t he environmen t. Step 4 â T he agency st af f d evelope d t he following definition/statement: âTh e Y area MP O p ursues sust ainability by provid in g a m ultimodal tr ansportatio n s yste m f or al l citizen s w hile workin g w ith local and regi onal st akeholders to promot e a cces si bility fo r a ll, to support economic development, and to protect th e e nvironmen t f or curr ent and futu re generations.â Anothe r e xample , f or a d esig n d ivis io n w ithin a h y pothetical DOT , can be as fo ll ows: âTh e d esig n d ivis io n s upports DO T Z i n m ovin g t ow ar d s ustainability by incor poratin g s afety, economic feas ibility, and environmenta l c onsiderations into our work as we design long-lastin g and quality projects. â