Giving Compass' Take:

• Meagan Crawford details the wide-ranging social, environmental, and economic benefits of sustainable transport solutions in urban areas.

• With temperatures rising and carbon emissions reaching all-time highs is it essential to push for sustainable transport. What does it take to implement low-carbon transport measures, and how can you offer your support?

• Learn more about the potential for cities to play a leading role in supporting sustainable transport solutions.

Transport: it’s an indispensable part of modern living. The composition of our society’s infrastructure gives vehicles a pivotal role in our daily lives. Yet, at a time when the effects of climate change are clearly visible, it’s untenable that the world’s fastest growing source of energy-related carbon emissions should remain unchecked.

The reality is that investment in low-carbon passenger transport has the potential to deliver enormous economic and social returns, and the ability to make a significant positive environmental impact.

A recent report by the Stockholm Environmental Institute for the Coalition for Urban Transitions (SEICUT) found that a bundle of low-carbon investments and measures across 16 city sectors, including transport, could cut global urban emissions 90% by 2050. This would make vast inroads toward preventing global warming that would reach beyond the 2 degrees Celsius "danger line."

While enhancing sustainability can require substantial investment, the SEICUT report also calculated that these measures could yield returns worth $24 trillion over the next 30 years. The estimated returns on low-carbon passenger transport were miles ahead of other sectors.

Low-carbon vehicles are not the only solution if we want to solve the associated problems of congestion, pollution and economic efficiency. Investment into mass urban transit could alleviate congestion, provide affordable transport for more people and yield even larger economic returns, as well as providing significant environmental benefits.

A total investment of $4 trillion in public buses, trains and railway tracks would yield $1 trillion in annual benefits by 2030, with a net present value of $19.6 trillion — the largest of any investment modeled. It would pay for itself in just one year. By 2050, this move has the potential to support nearly 12 million jobs. And it’s entirely doable, as a handful of forward-thinking cities have already shown.

Read the full article about sustainable transport by Meagan Crawford at Smart Cities Dive.