Transportation Planning, Policy and Climate Change: Making the Long-Term Connection.

Transportation Planning, Policy and Climate Change: Making the Long-Term Connection.

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  • Abstract:
    Climate change and variability will have significant impacts on the future mobility of the population in this country. Previous research has found that the transportation sector is not considering adaptation as a solution to these potential impacts. Further, results from a current Southwest Region University Transportation Center (SWUTC) project — Climate Change/Variability Science and Adaptive Strategies for State and Regional Transportation Decision Making — suggest that state and regional transportation planners are not integrating climate change science into their decision and planning processes. This runs counterintuitive to the traditional long-range focus of the planning process. There are several reasons for this situation, including uncertainty in regard to climate science, lack of resources, other problems that require short-term attention, a lack of understanding of the problem, and the desire to avoid the issue as too political. This UTCM project develops a greater understanding of decision and policy processes in regard to climate change and adaptation. Coastal areas in particular are seen as vulnerable to climate change and variability, and thus comprise the regional focus of this study. From a temporal perspective, we are interested in adaptation to abrupt climate change (discrete climate events such a hurricane or storms) as well as longer-term incremental changes traditionally associated with global warming.
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