Green Economy in the Transport Sector: A Case Study of Limpopo Province, South Africa
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An excerpt from a recent feature story posted on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website highlights how critical green economy is in the transport sector:
“Transport” features prominently on the green growth agenda for two reasons. First, transport has major environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, local air emissions and noise. Managing congestion more effectively is also part of the broader agenda for more sustainable development and better use of resources invested in infrastructure. Second, a large part of public expenditure to stimulate green growth has been directed at transport sector industries. This concerns most notably alternative vehicles, and particularly electric cars, a key part of strategies to decarbonise transport”.
A key factor towards addressing green economy in the transport sector is building more sustainable green resilient transport in cities and human settlements. Disciplines of Geography, Mining and Environmental Geology, Water and Hydrological Engineering, Urban Ecology and Urban and Regional Planning, to name a few, are uniquely positioned to understand and enhance complex green economy and transport transition socio-economic and environmental systems. However, current knowledge of these systems is not equitably distributed across the globe. Much more is known about green economy and transport transition socio-economic and environmental systems in the Global North (GN). Consequently, there remains a considerable knowledge gap in the Global South (GS), especially within the setting of predominantly rural areas and communities. Addressing this gap is essential, as GS contexts are often unique and starkly different to that of GN urban and countryside areas.
This timely book aimed to directly address these knowledge gaps through a collaboration of authors from the GS rural based provinces. The book highlights that the GS has unique environments, dynamics and realities that do not reflect GN situations. This, in turn, emphasizes the importance of addressing the lack of research in the GS.
The eight book chapters revealed several recurring and emergent themes that dominate the GS discourse. These themes are discussed within the context of rapid urbanisation and migration in Limpopo province, vulnerabilities and opportunities for the agricultural sector, legacies of human settlement systems and spatial distortions, and finally, inadequate institutional and implementation governance systems and context matters.
By situating the green economy and transport sector in the context of South Africa and in particular, the Limpopo Province, this book manages to explore the impacts of growth and development on the green economy and transport sector. In the final chapter of the book, themes are proposed on which future research and policy efforts should be focused to advance and enhance green economy and transport transition socio-economic and environmental sustainability understandings of GS cities and human settlements, and how they fit into current GN-GS relational framings and paradigms. The future research themes and policy action areas include broadly: (i) implementation and management of innovations and solutions that support economic prosperity and human well-being; (ii) stimulation of a resource-efficient, low-carbon economic and social development pathways and technological uptake; (iii) safeguarding people from environmental health risks as well as updating and aligning curriculum to the overall decarbonisation agenda.
This open access book is interdisciplinary and provides cross-sectoral and multi-dimensional exploration of sustainable development and transportation in South Africa. Drawing on work from different disciplines, the book contributes not only to academia but also seeks to inform urban and regional policy. We look forward to the book or selected chapters becoming core literature for researchers and students in various institutions all over the world. We trust that this book will encourage research in the GS, specifically to aid global debates and frameworks in multi-disciplinary approaches to tackling green economy in the transport sector issues from multiple perspective and dimensions covering the social, economic, physical, political, and environmental sectors.