Friday, March 01, 2013

Ralph Buehler's talk a powerful case for Sustainable Transportation

Ralph Buehler's talk on Wednesday absolutely rocked!   Ralph had me saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" out loud about a dozen times during his lecture. His concise, logical, fact driven lecture style with just the right amount of reserved enthusiasm was very powerful.  If you didn't go, you really missed out! 

The theme of his talk was “Making Urban Transport Sustainable: Comparison of Germany and the U.S.”  Many in the sustainable transportation planning world like to use Germany as a comparator to the U.S. as both countries are wealthy and have large automobile ownership and the automobile industry makes up a large part of the national economy.  In fact, the German car industry is even a bigger part of the German economy that it is here.  So Germans are just as much invested and in love their automobiles as Americans but that hasn't stopped Germany from making effective efforts at reducing automobile use.  Using a combination of transportation policies that make driving less appealing and make transit, cycling and walking cheap and convenient, Germans now make a four times the number of trips by foot, bike, and public transport and drive for a 25 percent less than Americans.  Ralph explained this all armed with solid facts and figures.

We are inquiring about a video link of the lecture so more can here Ralph's talk. 

Now the power Ralph's lecture came as no surprise to me as his insights into transportation policy are second to none.  The seminar that he taught when he was a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers was one of the best classes I took at Bloustein. Today Ralph Buehler is an Assistant Professor in Urban Affairs & Planning at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center just outside of Washington D.C.

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