Best practice in urban transport decarbonisation: a case study of three initiatives in Brisbane

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, place - urban, literature review - literature review, technology - emissions, land use - planning, land use - urban sprawl, planning - environmental impact


Brisbane, transport planning, decarbonisation, mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability


Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change requires a transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, if not before. Urban transport systems are a significant contributor to emissions, so effective mitigation strategies for this sector are needed. This paper starts by outlining a best practice framework for transport decarbonisation based upon a review of the international research literature that entails: shifting passengers to net-zero or low-emission modes; investing in more energy-efficient technology options; and managing the demand for transport through a combination of land-use planning and socioeconomic policies. This best practice framework is then applied to a case study conducted in Brisbane (Australia) to see how the gap between the concepts developed in the research literature and the practice of making a change may be bridged. A policy analysis of three key transport initiatives in the city was undertaken to determine how they measure up against the best practice framework. On the positive side, Brisbane has the advantage of providing a reasonably reliable public transport system, expanding its bicycle/walking paths and engaging local communities in the decision-making and implementation. However, Brisbane faces a high degree of urban sprawl and car dependency, exacerbating its ecological footprint.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.