EVALUATION OF A SUSTAINABLE URBAN TRANSPORT SYSTEM THROUGH THE USE OF THE TRANSECON METHODOLOGY
Free (open access)
Volume 4 (2009), Issue 1
18 - 34
S. BASBAS & A. PAPANIKOLAOU
The concept of ‘sustainable development’ is an achievement of policy as it introduces a new philosophy on matters regarding environmental protection and natural resource management. This paper begins by investigating the origin of the term ‘sustainability’ and the deeper social and economic causes of its emergence, through its historical evolution. The necessity for achieving sustainable development in the transport sector is pointed out and the policies which will lead to this objective are set forth. To the degree, however, that this concept alters our perceptions and introduces a new reasoning, this can result in a qualitative alteration of our analytic and synthetic planning tools. For instance, revision of the assessment criteria and the addition of new social and environmental parameters led to the creation of new methods and techniques of evaluation, capable of incorporating the new data. However, the process through which the assessment and the calculation of parameters is realised is evaluation; therefore, this change in the way of assessment essentially lies in the differentiation in the approaches and the evaluation criteria. The traditional evaluation with purely economic (quantitative) criteria has been replaced (or at least supplemented) by more integrated evaluation techniques (multicriteria and socio-economic analyses) that take into account both quantitative and qualitative criteria. The multicriteria evaluation methodology, which resulted from the TRANSECON (Urban Transport and Socio-Economic Development) Project, is used in this paper, in order to evaluate an investment of the Public Transport Operator of Thessaloniki concerning its network expansion. The paper aims at the examination of two things; firstly the possibility of adapting and applying the TRANSECON methodology to this specific investment pointing out the essential assumptions and secondly to examine how a non-viable investment in economic terms can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
multicriteria analysis, socio-economic evaluation, sustainable development, sustainable transport system