On the Road to Sustainable Travel for Social Good
Sustainable travel is gaining favor across the globe as the pandemic continues to curtail our traveling options and forces us to remain close to home. Travel and environmental experts discussed the future of travel in a post-pandemic world via livestream last month at Mashable’s Social Good Series. Here are the sustainable travel soundbytes.
"Sustainable Travel During and After a Pandemic"
Mashable hosted it’s first-ever livestream event last month to discuss the future of travel and transportation post-pandemic as part of it’s newly launched Social Good Series. The six-month project spotlights issues essential to making the world a better place. Sustainability was the first topic.
The tech media giant is no stranger to the social good space. For the last decade Mashable. along with its partners, The UN Foundation, The 92nd St. Y and the UN Development Programme have hosted The Social Good Summit. Until now.
Sarah Kaufman, the associate director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, kicked off the livestream by pointing out there’s been an interest in the implications of travel throughout the pandemic, particularly as people saw the potential climate benefits of reduced and modified travel.
That attention shouldn’t trickle off after social distancing measures are over: Pandemic or not, the climate crisis rages on! A focus on transportation will remain absolutely crucial in the climate fight as it is a top source of emissions,
Travel and sustainability expert panelists Mark Chambers, the director of the mayor’s office of sustainability in New York City, Dr. Lucy Mahoney, and environmental activist Ashley Renne added their thoughts on the present and future of travel and transportation pre and post-pandemic.
On Travel in a Pandemic World
<We’re seeing a new love and excitement for nature.
<People are now looking at travel locally. They are enjoying nature, they go in their cars and drive cross-country to explore the mountains, the beaches, the parks and more.
Sustainable Travel Soundbytes
On Transportation-Related Climate Solutions
<There’s been an interest in the implications of travel throughout the pandemic, particularly as people saw the potential climate benefits of reduced and modified travel.
<That attention shouldn’t trickle off after social distancing measures are over: Pandemic or not, the climate crisis rages on.
<A focus on transportation, a top source of emissions, will remain absolutely crucial in the climate fight.
Dr. Lucy Mahoney:
<We know that our cities need to be inclusive and resilient.
<We need to ensure our transport systems and our streets are welcoming ‘for all ages, genders, ethnicities, incomes, and abilities.
“Convenience has consequences. Pause has given us an opportunity to re-configure our mass transit infrastructure & our sustainability” – Mark Chambers
<The city (NYC), despite its well-known subway system, is ultimately a city made for cars — and this has disastrous health impacts for people of color and low-income individuals.
<We’re designed for cars, not for people. The current configuration of the city makes it so that communities of color and low-income communities are often the ones closest to roadways and thus bear the brunt of negative impacts from excessive travel.
<The big underpinning is to address these two issues — excessive emissions from transportation and racial injustice — we have to be tackling the social infrastructure simultaneously with the transportation infrastructure.
<To emerge from the pandemic more inclusive and more sustainable, addressing those two issues is the core of what New York City aims to do as it builds out more sustainable transportation options throughout the city.
Sustainable Travel Trends
<More Local Road Trips
<Travel Local Love – embracing and exploring a love for appreciating one’s own country and what to see
<Passion & Social Unrest – people are saying what they want and reclaiming the public domain
<Emergence of Bike Transit – we’re seeing the ability for people to put their passions in front of them/ People are seeing good air quality as a right. As a result, their act to protest is getting on a bike.
< Public Safety – City’s job is getting people to bike ride safely in public streets via reimagined routes, bicycle lane ope
Sustainable travel is here to stay. A greener travel future is now. The pandemic may be temporarily wreaking havoc on our range of travel mobility, but it has given us pause to re-examine our new norm. The end result is a more sustainable way to travel with an eye on the carbon footprint, and a love of nature and local vistas in our own backyards. Forever #SociallySparked. – Tweet us @sosparkednews & @asparks01