Looking to the Future

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


In this quite short and incisive concluding chapter, the authors use their study of sustainable urban transport to better understand the complex policy of reducing greenhouse gases. If worldwide urban transport is taken as a microcosm of what lies ahead in reducing greenhouse gases, it is easy to be pessimistic, say the authors. Indeed, the transportation sector, as a whole, is not really progressing in terms of reduction, in fact the opposite is true. If it is easy to point the finger at the American lifestyle, with its suburban component and huge transport energy needs, because these elements are to a large extent true, more fundamental causes can be identified, according to Mercier and his colleagues. There is a widespread individualism in consumer patterns, worldwide, and these patterns encourage in turn individual transport patterns and demands to meet them, which cannot usually be met by public or nonmotorized transport modes. There are, according to the authors, a possibility of a cultural war between partisans of public transport and public spaces, on the one hand, and privatizers and partisans of the automobile culture on the other hand. However, this cultural war could evolve into a lessening of their differences, with technological and cultural change.


Greenhouse gases American lifestyle Individualism Choice Externalities Urban future 


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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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