Fall 2020 - REM 355 D100

Sustainable Transportation Management (3)

Class Number: 3667

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Exam Times + Location:

    Oct 27, 2020
    2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units or permission of instructor.



Explores trends in the transportation sector according to a resource and environmental management perspective, including air quality and greenhouse gas impacts. The perspective is interdisciplinary, organized around transitions to alternative fuels, efficiency and reduced vehicle use. Skills to be developed include sustainability management, lifecycle analysis and policy analysis.


This course explores the sustainability of the transportation sector in Canada and globally, including air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and social impacts. We look at past trends in motor vehicle use and technology development to better understand present and likely future impacts. The course is interdisciplinary by design, drawing from the field of resource management to integrate insights from environmental science, public policy and ecological economics, as well as basic principles from engineering, consumer psychology, and sociology. The course is organized around the three categories of transportation transformation (or “three legs of the stool”), including transitions to: low-carbon fuels, more efficient technology, and reduced motor vehicle use. Skills to be developed include understanding and integration of concepts from environment, policy and economics, as well as specific methods such as lifecycle impact analysis and multi-criteria policy evaluation. Applications include the topics of electric mobility, biofuels, hydrogen, autonomous vehicles, and car-sharing. The objective of the course is to provide a broad understanding of these transportation issues, to develop methods and perspectives to evaluate these issues, and to develop and analyze strategies for improving the sustainability of the transportation sector.

Course Organization: Asynchronous lecture and synchronous tutorials.


Once you complete this course, you will be able to:

  1. Explain trends in Canada’s transportation sector according to economic, consumer, and cultural perspectives.
  2. Explain the role of the transportation sector in major modern environmental problems in Canada and globally, including climate change and air quality.
  3. Explain the three categories of transportation transformation (vehicles, fuels and travel demand), and identify technologies and practices that can reduce the environmental impacts of each.
  4. Evaluate and compare transportation policies relating to environmental and energy goals.
  5. Apply course concepts to a variety of transportation topics, including alternative fuels, autonomous vehicles, car sharing, freight and urban development.
  6. Develop collaborative, interdisciplinary learning and thinking skills.
  7. Demonstrate the level of respect and organization expected in the workforce.


  • Participation 10%
  • Assignments 40%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Final exam - comprehensive 30%



Sperling, Daniel (2018). Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future, Island Press
Available from:
Island Press: https://islandpress.org/books/three-revolutions
SFU Bookstore website: http://www.sfu.ca/bookstore/coursematerials

Digital copy available for reserve at the https://www.lib.sfu.ca/borrow/reserves
ISBN: 9781610919050

A number of online (electronic) readings will be uploaded to the course website, including chapters, reports, journal articles and several newspaper/magazine articles. The syllabus and website clearly differentiate between required and optional readings (the latter may be useful for the assignment)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).