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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Planning for and Implementing Sustainable Transportation Systems

An intersection with cars and bicyclists waiting at a light.
Intersection during construction, Boston (Philip Thornton/U.S. DOT Volpe Center photo)

Sustainability refers to the long-term economic, environmental, and social performance of a given project or program that prevents degradation of natural resources, and social and economic conditions. Anticipating the effects of an activity on the environment is a critical aspect of evaluating sustainability, and changing environmental conditions can significantly affect the likely sustainability of projects.

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center works with multiple sponsors to develop sustainability initiatives ranging from the strategic planning level, down to the details of establishing recycling programs. The U.S. DOT Volpe Center has developed pollinator gardens, evaluated ecosystem services, considered tradeoffs among sustainability goals, and assisted agencies with compliance with reporting requirements, regulatory requirements, and directives.

Research and Reports

Last updated: Thursday, June 16, 2022