The Context of Sustainable Urban Transport

  • Jean MercierEmail author
  • Fanny Tremblay-Racicot
  • Mario Carrier
  • Fábio Duarte


In this chapter, the authors look at the three main challenges that cities and metropolitan areas face in dealing with the challenge of sustainable transport. In the context of increasing liberal values and privatization policies, they face a planning challenge, at a time when government intervention is seen as lacking in efficiency. Second, the cities face an extending urban landscape, with a fragmenting spatial configuration that is not conducive to public transport. Third, cities face a public policy challenge, due to the fact that an increasing variety and number of stakeholders demand that their point of view be heard and considered. Drawing from public policy and political studies literature, Mercier and his colleagues then identify two policy configurations to deal with these challenges, the government (more top-down) mode, and the governance (more horizontal, participative) mode. Building on the differences between these two styles of public policy, the authors then propose a model of policy instruments which can be helpful in ascertaining the contribution of these two policy configuration in attaining sustainable urban transport.


Urban planning Metropolitanization Government Governance Policy instruments 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Mercier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fanny Tremblay-Racicot
    • 2
  • Mario Carrier
    • 3
  • Fábio Duarte
    • 4
  1. 1.Université LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.École nationale d’administration publiqueQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Université LavalQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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