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Transportation -- Planning -- Study and teaching, University of Oregon -- Curricula, Sustainability


This paper describes a pilot graduate sustainable transportation course developed at the University of Oregon to provide hands-on project experience for students studying sustainability. New approaches to sustainability and transportation pedagogies will provide a galvanizing force for tomorrow’s graduates, who must respond to concerns about climate change and the environment, social equity, and an uncertain economy. They will require an aptitude for both technical skills and collaborative leadership and communication skills. The course was guided by a framework founded in five themes from the literature on sustainability education and transportation planning and engineering education: leading with sustainability’s cornerstones of people, prosperity and planet, sponsoring a systems thinking approach to analyze transportation issues and potential solutions, incorporating knowledge from interdisciplinary resources, promoting “softer” skills including communication and leadership, and emphasizing applied learning. The themes aim to overcome institutional barriers and to better prepare students for the rapidly evolving challenges they will encounter in the sustainability and transportation fields. Although the purpose of the project was to develop a framework and institutionalize a sustainable transportation class at the graduate level, the student projects had unforeseen impacts upon the community in furthering innovative technologies and policies. Ultimately, the class was featured in the local progressive weekly newspaper as starting a "sustainable transit revolution.” This paper documents the process, the projects, and puts the experience in the context of literature on the framework themes and sustainability and transportation education.


This is a final report, OTREC-ED-556, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:

The final report was delivered at the 2014 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.

Several additional reports, presentations and syllabi are included in the links below.



Persistent Identifier

FINAL Syllabus_OLIS 612_Sustainable Transportation with Projects Jan 7-2013 _1.pdf (223 kB)
OLIS 612 Winter Quarter Syllabus

Bikes Mean Business 3-15-2013_0.pdf (1166 kB)
Bikes Mean Business in Eugene -- Report

Bikes Mean Business Presentation 3-20-2013_0.pdf (3763 kB)
Bikes Mean Business in Eugene -- Presentation

Bikesharing Presentation 3-20-2013.pdf (4706 kB)
Bikesharing Feasibility Study

Course_Curriculum.pdf (223 kB)
Syllabus for OLIS 612 Winter Quarter

Parking_Characteristics_in_Eugene_3-15-2013.pdf (1048 kB)
Parking Characteristics in Eugene -- Report

Parking_in_Eugene_3-15-2013.pdf (1593 kB)
Parking Characteristics in Eugene -- Presentation

City_of_Eugene_Gasoline_and_Diesel_Consumption_Reduction_3-15-3013.pdf (1928 kB)
Cty of Eugene Gasoline and Diesel Consumption Reduction

Gas_and_Diesel_Project_3-15-2013.pdf (7501 kB)
Gas and Diesel Reduction in Eugene Oregon

bikesharepaper.pdf (623 kB)
Bike sharing Feasibility Study -- Report

OLIS_PAYD_Presentation_3-20-2013.pdf (3172 kB)
Pay as You Drive Car Insurance for the University of Oregon

2013_UO_Commuter_Survey_3-20-2013 (1).pdf (1626 kB)
Commuter Survey for the University of Oregon

UO_Commuter_Survey_Final_Report_3-15-2013.pdf (345 kB)
UO Commuter Survey Final Report

PAYD_Team_Project_Final_Paper_3-15-2013.pdf (100 kB)
Pay as You Drive Car Insurance Feasibility Study