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Planning for Peak Car: International Evidence of How Urban Development is Moving Beyond Auto Dependence

Sept. 22, 7pm

SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre), Room 1400

This lecture is free of charge and open to the public, but reservations are required and the event is expected to fill up quickly. Reservations can be made online at www.sfu.ca/reserve.

Speaker: Jeff Kenworthy, Professor in Sustainable Cities, Curtin University, Perth Western Australia and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany

This presentation provides an overview of comparative urban transportation characteristics and related patterns in over 40 cities worldwide. It provides an insight into how these characteristics changed in the important decade between 1995 and 2005 when peak car use first appeared. The talk examines the phenomenon of peak car use at a national and urban level and looks at some of the reasons that lie behind it. Together with the advent of peak car use, it is shown through an original set of data, how GDP growth has now decoupled from growth in car use, particularly in urban regions, meaning that cities can now increase in economic well-being while at the same time reducing their vulnerability to peak oil and their transportation contributions to climate change, while simultaneously improving urban livability and the human attraction of cities. The talk is extensively illustrated throughout with examples from around the world of some of the key changes that are occurring in different cities in response to what could be one of the most significant changes in this century: the end of dependence on the automobile (though certainly not the end of the automobile).

Moving the City Lecture Series

This event is part of the SFU Urban Studies program's Moving the City lecture series: Vancouver and its Canadian counterparts (Montreal and Toronto) were founded to facilitate the movement of people and goods between international seaports and inland mobility infrastructure (portages, canals, and railways). What can we learn from their extended engagement with local and global mobilities? And what can the world’s experience with building, deconstructing, and repurposing mobility infrastructure teach Vancouver in its quest to become the greenest city by 2020?

The Moving the City lecture series is made possible through the generosity of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, Langara College, the University of the Fraser Valley, and SFU's City Program.