Transport and Environment Policies: European Union Perspective

This lecture will be delivered on Thursday, July 23, 2009, from 11:00am to 12:00 noon by Professor Demetrio C. Festa at the University of Toronto in Room 3103 (3rd floor), Sandford Fleming Building, located at 10 King’s College Circle in Toronto.


For over 30 years, Professor Festa has been an active member of the Italian Association of Transport University Professors. Since 1996, he has been a full professor and head of the Department of Planning at the University of Calabria, chair of the Council of Civil Engineering for the University and a member of Dean’s Advisory Board in the Faculty of Engineering. During this time he has also served as a professor of Transportation Systems in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Reggio Calabria (Italy), and since 1995 as head of its Department of Systems Engineering and Mathematics.


Transport is one of the EU’s earliest common policies. It was specifically addressed in article 3f and Title V of the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Community (actually European Union) in 1958. The intent of this early policy was to remove barriers to the free movement of persons and goods among member states.


The transport sector is an important generator of economic activity, accounting for 7% of the EU gross national product (GNP), 7% of all jobs (excluding indirect employment), 40% of member states’ investment and 30% of EU energy consumption. This has generated a range of negative social and environmental costs such as: deterioration of existing infrastructure; traffic congestion in urban areas; greenhouse gas emissions, with impacts on global warming; air and noise pollution; personal injury and death from transport accidents.


Recently, EU transport policy has recognized the need to address these negative costs through more sustainable transportation policy directions. The presentation will discuss many of these important EU initiatives and policies, their basic aims and what we can learn from the EU experience concerning research and development of more sustainable greener transportation options.