Welcome to the SMART blog! It’s a dynamic counterpart to SMART’s website, posting-up-to-the-minute sustainable transportation news, events, jobs, and other opportunities from the U.S. and around the world. It also links to innovations, new research, policy updates, related newsletters, inspiring initiatives, and videos that come our way. You can contribute too! Please send relevant information to Kim Seelye. The blog will benefit and grow from your involvement. SMART is a project of University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. MANY THANKS to the FIA Foundation for their generous support of the development of SMART’s blog in the interests of advancing New Mobility implementation. Many thanks also to Ford Motor Company for supporting the development of this blog through its generous ongoing support of SMART.


Launch of the First Global Standard to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cities

On Monday during COP20, the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) will unveil the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), the first global standard to measure greenhouse gas emissions from cities. GPC will be the most widely endorsed standard for cities to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, see http://www.wri.org/news/2014/12/advisory-launch-first-global-standard-measure-greenhouse-gas-emissions-cities.


Examining future transport demand in an uncertain world – insights from New Zealand

Led by Professor Glenn Lyons, University of the West of England, Bristol

New Zealanders drive nearly 30 billion kilometres each year in their cars, vans, utes and SUVs. The road network also carries 70 percent of all of our freight . As a nation we have built and continue to maintain a network of roads to allow us to make these trips.

The road network is worth more than $60 billion and costs more than $1 billion a year to maintain. We are planning to invest $10 billion over the next ten years to change the shape of the network to improve its quality and capacity.

This would be relatively straightforward if we knew how demand would change. The challenge we face, however, is there have recently been changes to the patterns of demand for personal travel.

From 1980 to 2004 we saw annual increase in demand in the order of three percent per year. This highlighted the importance of tackling congestion and improving safety and gave us assurance revenue would grow to cover the costs of a growing network. From 2005 to 2013 total demand only grew by 0.25 percent per year.

We now face an uncertain future. We cannot be certain demand will return to pre-2005 levels of growth nor can we be certain it will remain flat. This means we can no longer rely on traditional forecasting models alone to help us to decide how to invest. Figure 2 illustrates how our traditional forecasting models have consistently overestimated demand.

Read more or download the papers at http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/keystrategiesandplans/strategic-policy-programme/future-demand/.


Social Bicycles Offers Leaner, Data-Happy Bikeshare Option

SMART likes to share interesting news and innovations from newsletters we receive. This was published by Mobility Lab in Mobility Lab Express. See http://www.um-smart.org/blog/related-newsletters for more newsletters you may find interesting.

Author: Amy Eagleburger

City bikeshare programs are ballooning across the country with a fairly simple concept – docked bikes that can be rented via credit card at the docking site or through an annual membership plan.

Can this model be improved? Social Bicycles (SoBi) certainly thinks so.

Patrick Hoffman, product manager for New York-based SoBi, said the idea was to create a more flexible bikeshare that didn’t just get riders from A to B, but tracked their usage in order to connect with friends or create a better understanding about how other SoBi members are using the service.

SoBi’s bikes are designed so that they don’t necessarily have to be docked in a certain location. Rather, every bike is equipped with a GPS device so that users can pinpoint where it is – whether that’s outside of a coffee shop or in a designated SoBi corral location.

Read the full article at http://mobilitylab.org/2014/11/17/social-bicycles-offers-leaner-data-happy-bikeshare-option.


The 2014 EcoDistricts Summit Is a Wrap!

This past September, more than 650 urban development leaders from a diverse set of more than 15 sectors, from community development to urban design, gathered in Washington, DC for the 2014 EcoDistricts Summit. Attendees represented more than 350 organizations, 100 cities and 9 countries from across the globe.

The District of Columbia served as host, curriculum and teacher, with the area’s district-scale projects, including three EcoDistricts Target Cities projects, as hands-on case studies for 15 education sessions, innovative UrbanLabs, in depth Studios and inspiring plenaries.

Download the report at http://ecodistrictssummit.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2014-EcoDistricts-Summit-Report1.pdf?ea2fce.

Read more at http://ecodistrictssummit.org/summit-2014/#thankyou.


2015 Study Abroad: Bicycle Transportation

The program is an intensive seminar held in key urban locations in Western Europe. Participants will study bicycle planning, design, policy and culture as a sustainable and economically viable form of transportation. The program will focus on the practices and policies that foster safe, convenient and accessible bicycle infrastructure and the underlying culture that supports a high rate of bicycle use. Denmark and the Netherlands became great places to bike, and this course will explore how and why this transformation happened and will challenge students to think about how to make similar change within the United States.

For more information, see http://international.uoregon.edu/bicycles.


Caltrans sponsored traveler information website now covers the entire Rockies region

A new One-Stop Shop for Traveler Information (OSS) now offers travelers an internet site that integrates weather and road information from multiple states in the Rocky Mountain region that does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries. Combined with real-time weather information, the OSS provides motorists with a seamless decision-making tool for maintaining and enhancing traveler safety and mobility, particularly during the winter holiday travel season. The OSS was developed at the Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute (WTI) and was sponsored by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). WTI is a collaborative research partnership involving MSU’s College of Engineering, the Montana Department of Transportation (MTD) and Caltrans, and was established to provide innovative solutions to transportation problems at all levels; from local to international.

Read the full story at http://www.traffictechnologytoday.com/news.php?NewsID=64063.