Retired consultant on transport, energy, and urban governance,
who has retreated somewhat to his former career as a psychologist
through writing a novel titled Skinner’s Quests (see
published in 2016.
PHOTO TAKEN IN
TRINITY-BELLWOODS PARK, TORONTO, SUMMER 2019
This Web site is a place where my published and other material can be
readily accessed, as well as a
biographical note. The site was last updated on November 27, 2020.
Items are listed below by year of publication or
preparation, usually with added information. Clicking on the
link for an item should bring up the item. Only items completed
or published since early 2003 are noted.
(Maybe one day I'll get around to adding items published between 1966
and 2002.) Unless
authors are given for an item, I was the sole author.
Everything on this site that is my original work
and for which the copyright is clearly mine may be copied and distributed freely for non-commercial purposes. Please
give suitable acknowledgement.
I haven't published
anything since 2017, although I did try and place two articles in
newspapers during 2020, without success. Loosely annotated versions of
these articles are listed below.
Some of 2021 has been
taken up with getting immersed in district energy matters, almost for
the first time since I was CEO of the Toronto District Heating
Corporation for most of the 1980s. I became re-engaged in February 2021
on learning that the corporation, now Enwave Energy, was sold by
Brookfield for about 25 times what it took the City of Toronto to
establish it in the early 1980s. The product so far, listed under 2021,
is what I and two colleagues describe as a pre-proposal for a major
investigation of the potential for district energy in the Toronto
Richard Gilbert, John
Stephenson and Michael Wiggin, Heating and Cooling GTHA buildings in
Winter heating of buildings, almost entirely with natural gas, is the
main source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Greater Toronto and
Hamilton Area. The federal government's target of net-zero GHG emissions
by 2050 may be achieved only with massive deployment of district heating
(and cooling) throughout the region. This 5-page paper (10 pages with
appendices and source notes) sets out why this deployment may be
necessary and how progress could be made towards its attainment.
Could carbon dioxide
monitoring allow more indoor activity during the pandemic? November
Infection by the SARS-Cov-2 virus
seems unlikely to occur outdoors. Indoors, poor ventilation can allow
much more exposure to the airborne virus. Indoor carbon dioxide (CO2)
concentrations indicate the amount of expelled breath in the air and
thus the risk of infection. Relatively inexpensive CO2
monitors could be used to indicate whether the ventilation of a room or
a building is sufficient to reduce the risk to low, outdoor levels.
(After I'd posted this, I came across an excellent November 2020 article
by John Hatcher in Smart Buildings Magazine that makes the same
general point. It's at
with the title" Carbon dioxide monitoring to lower the coronavirus
threat. If I'd known about it earlier I would have cited it and perhaps
not even written my article.)
Reflections at 80.
In both London (England) and Toronto,
2020 is very different from wartime 1940 --- in population, weather,
energy use, life expectancy, and attitudes to out-of-wedlock childbirth
-- but the most important difference could be today’s understanding that
we need many more women leaders.
Evalyn Finn Segal: In
Memoriam, Journal of the
Experimental Analysis of Behavior,
An obituary of a distinguished
long-time friend who died in January 2017. It appeared in an academic
journal whose editorial board we’d both served on. I was particularly
grateful for the help she gave me during 2015 while I was writing the
novel, Skinner’s Quests, published late in 2016 (see
There's a better route for the Scarborough
subway, Toronto Star,
March 3, 2015.
This article proposes a radical change in how
subways are planned in Toronto. Stations should be planned as integrated
features of major mixed-use developments, paid for by developers and
providing ridership sufficient to justify installation of a heavy-rail
What Toronto's big transit plans are
forgetting, Globe and Mail online, September 11, 2014.
This article was requested
by the Globe and Mail as a moderately in-depth assessment of the
transit platforms of Toronto's main mayoral candidates in the October 27
election. One of these candidates, David Soknacki, withdrew while the
article was being prepared. Another, Rob Ford, withdrew on the day after
publication, to be replaced by his brother Doug.
Road vehicle automation: Elephant in the
Infrastructure Room. In International Handbook on Megaprojects
(Hugo Premius and Bert van Wee, eds), Edward Elgar Publishing.
The final chapter in this
authoritative handbook proposed that road vehicle automation could have
profound impacts on urban infrastructure requirements, chiefly by
reducing the cost of using autonomous taxicabs to below that of using
buses and most public transport. Another profound impact would be on the
manner of vehicle ownership. I argue that autonomous vehicles will
likely be owned and deployed by fleet owners rather than individual
owners. Road vehicle automation could well spell the end of personal
vehicle ownership. A near-final draft of my chapter is available here.
Better ways than tax hikes to fund
Greater Toronto's transit, Globe and Mail online, May 29, 3013.
This article promotes intensification
of development and savings in construction costs as partial alternatives
to raising taxes to fund transit expansion, or as means of making
investment through taxation go farther. It reprises the themes of
several previous items noted below.
The Automation Highway: What are the more
practical implications of self-driving vehicles? Renew Canada,
The PDF file is a draft of an article
based on the five items published online in the Globe & Mail at the end
of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 (see below).
Behaviorism at 100: An American
History. April 2013
This article marks my semi-retirement
from consulting on transportation and energy issues and a return in part
to an earlier career as a psychologist. The return consists chiefly in
writing a novel set in May and June 1939 in which American psychologist
B.F. Skinner makes a (fictional) visit to Britain and meets Sigmund
Freund and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I'm hoping that the novel will be
published, likely electronically, before the end of 2015. The article
Behaviorism at 100: An American History was written partly to
reenter the intellectual world of the novel's protagonist and partly to
gain familiarity with the burgeoning world of electronic publishing.
The article is available
Amazon Kindle, where you can find the following
"This article marks the centenary of the founding of the
approach to the study of human and other behavior known as behaviorism,
often considered to have occurred in 1913. The story of behaviorism is
largely, although by no means entirely, the story of Burrhus Frederick
Skinner (1904-1990), who is presented as being among the intellectual
giants of the twentieth century.
"The article touches on four of B.F. Skinner's major
contributions, with some focus on his elaboration of the parallel
between the natural selection of features of populations and the
reinforcement of varieties of behavior.
"The article concludes by suggesting that Skinner's
influence may be undergoing a revival. As was the case with Charles
Darwin, several more decades may have to pass before his enormous
contributions are fully appreciated. In Skinner's case the contributions
were, and continue to be, to psychology, philosophy, linguistics,
anthropology, and neuroscience.
"The article totals some 7,400 words. The main text has
seven sections. Their titles are: Mostly about B.F. Skinner • Skinner’s
four main contributions • More on reinforcement and natural selection •
Neuroscience and behavior • Skinner and American tradition and culture •
Skinner’s last words • Skinner today and tomorrow. The text is annotated
with 79 reference and other notes, and there is a brief note on the
The article is also available through Smashwords (here)
and other ebook outlets.
Moving freight key to a driverless
future. Globe and Mail online, January 1, 2013,
This is the last of the five posts
introduced by the December 24 item (below). It discusses automation and
electrification of road freight movement.
Why driverless cars will trump transit
rivals. Globe and Mail online, December 31, 2012,
This is the fourth of the five posts
introduced by the December 24 item (below). It suggests that autonomous
vehicles will facilitate the electrification of road transportation.
Why the future of urban transit might be
a taxi. Globe and Mail online, December 28, 2012,
This is the third of the five posts
introduced by the December 24 item (below). It suggests that autonomous
(driverless) taxicabs could replace most urban transit.
How driverless cars will navigate into
the mainstream. Globe and Mail online, December 26, 2012,
This is the second of the five posts
introduced by the December 24 item (below). It suggests that autonomous
(driverless) taxicabs could obviate most automobile ownership.
Self-driving cars coming soon to a road
near you. Globe and Mail online, December 24, 2012,
This is the first of five items based on a
chapter entitled 'Road vehicle automation: The elephant in the
infrastructure room,' to appear in International Handbook on
Megaprojects (Hugo Priemus and Bert van Wee, eds.) to be published
in 2013 by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. This post to Economy Lab, part
of the online version of the Globe's Report on Business,
introduces the suggestion that driverless road vehicles will
Plenty of blame for
city's rogue mayor. Toronto Star, November 28, 2012.
The Star requested an item on some aspect of the
fall-out from the removal from office of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on a
conflict of interest charge. This is the result after much consultation
What we missed in the global energy report.
Globe and Mail online, November 21, 2012,
This article shows flaws in (mainly) US reporting
on the International Energy Agency's World Economic Outlook 2012. It
concludes that the US will likely not reach oil self-sufficiency by
2035, but that Canada should in any case cut back exports to the US in
order to supply Eastern Canada.
Don Stevenson and
Richard Gilbert, Robert Tamblyn's great idea. Toronto Star,
October 21, 2012.
Don and I celebrate one of the legacies, Deep Lake
Water Cooling, of a Toronto engineer who died earlier in October.
How Toronto's transit plan takes taxpayers for a
ride. Globe and Mail online, May 17, 2012.
This piece demonstrates how the capital cost
of the proposed Eglinton light-rail will work out to be $17.50 a ride,
and how this huge subsidy per ride can be reduced.
Oil is important, for
sure, but let's focus on alternatives. Globe and Mail online, May
This piece picks three bones – small, medium,
large – with Jeff Rubin's new book, The End of Growth, even
before I have read it.
Provincial perspectives on electric traction. Proceedings of EV2011VÉ,
Toronto, September 2011. Published by Electric Mobility Canada, May
discusses how Canada’s provinces are placed with regard to electric
traction in general and to ways of powering electric traction in
particular. Several factors are considered. They include amounts and
sources of electricity generation, degree of dependence on imported oil,
extent of investment in automotive industries, provincial policy
context, and climate. Two types of powering are emphasized: powering by
on-board storage devices (as in battery-electric and plug-in hybrid
vehicles) and powering from the grid while in motion (as in streetcars,
trolley buses and electric trains).
Are hopes for the
auto industry misplaced? Globe and Mail online, April 4, 2012.
This Economy Lab posting begins by noting the
optimism in response to robust sales figures in early 2012, but suggests
that the 12-year downward slide in the North American industry could
still be in place. Unlike during 2009, the industry's annus
horribilis, this time Canadian production could be shifted to the
US. An accompanying chart shows that vehicle production per capita is
much higher in Canada than in the U.S. Canadian sales per capita
recently passed those of the US.
Practical fixes for
Toronto's transit system. Toronto Star, March 4, 2012.
In this article I fantasize about being Toronto's
TSAR (Transit Supremo having All Responsibility) and explain what I
would do (privatize the TTC's operations, introduce taxibuses and
trolleybuses, use Vancouver's Canada Line as a model for transit
expansion, and explore innovative systems for the East Harbourfront and
Port Lands. As TSAR, I would also have the power to facilitate intensive
development at and near the stations of expensive transit lines. The
article produced surprisingly little response; just about all of it was
What's missing from
Ford's subway dream? A business plan. Globe and Mail online,
February 23, 2012.
This was a "short, sharp" post produced on request
in response to an article by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. It stimulated 102
comments, rather fewer than the 799 his article stimulated.
How the recession
helped US exporters. Globe and Mail online, January 27, 2012.
This item was published in a different section of
the Globe and Mail's online edition from where I usually have posts: it
was in the Global Exchange section rather than in the Economy Lab
section. The thrust of the article is that the recent recession helped
the US balance of trade mostly by reducing imports, chiefly oil. The
recession may have had the incidental effect of stimulating exports,
hence the title given to the post by the Globe. My title was "The
recession's effect on US trade."
Jack Layton, the best prime minister we never had.
Toronto Star (online edition), August 26, 2011,
Why not print money? Globe and Mail online, August
This was my first Economy Lab posting that was
not about transportation or energy. I discussed – more warmly than not –
the view of some economists that the U.S. should use inflation as a tool
to address that country's many economic challenges. It attracted over
200 comments, not all unfavourable.
Fifty years on, it may be time for
personal rapid transit. Globe and Mail online, August 3, 2011.
This is the first of what I hope will be
several posts dedicated to PRT. It is mostly about the1960s' and 1970s'
history of PRT.
Tough love must drive
transit development, Globe and Mail online, June 2, 2011.
This Economy Lab post
takes the principles set out in my May 2, 2011, post and applies them to
the challenge Toronto mayor Rob Ford has set for himself concerning
extensions to the Sheppard subway line.
Problems and opportunities with natural gas as a transportation fuel, by
Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. Published in June 2011 by the Post Carbon
Institute, Santa Rosa, California, as part of a three-paper supplement
to Will Natural Gas fuel America in the 21st Century? by J David
Hughes, May 2011.
Dave Hughes' report "calls
into question the prevalent assumption that [the US] has access to a
century of cheap and easy natural gas. Our supplement argues that any
natural gas that might be used for transportation should be used to
generate power for electric vehicles – preferably grid-connected while
in motion – rather than used to fuel vehicles directly.
It's time for a businesslike approach
to transit projects. Globe and Mail online, May 2, 2011.
Another in my Economy Lab posts,
likely to remain unnoticed because it appeared on the day of an historic
Canadian federal election. The article presents Six Rules for Transit
1. Develop a comprehensive 35-year
business plan in today’s dollars.
2. Include amortized capital costs and operating costs.
3. Note that except for subsidy almost all revenue will be from the fare
4. Estimate the development required to generate fares that will cover
capital and operating costs.
5. Estimate the subsidy needed if the required density cannot or will
not be provided.
6. Establish a time-limited development agency to assemble land and
deliver the project.
Oil-proof Canada's transit systems
with electricity. Globe and Mail online, April 25, 2011.
Another in my Economy Lab posts,
arguing that the most cost-effective way to reduce oil dependence may be
to convert diesel bus routes to electric trolley bus routes. The article
quickly attracted numerous comments. Many questioned where the electric
power would come from. Many suggested that switching to natural gas
would be better than switching to electricity.
Will the EU ban fossil-fuel cars from
cities? The Mark, April 25, 2011.
This requested article discusses a
proposal in the recent European Commission document Roadmap to a
Single European Transport Area.
Toronto owes mayor a thank you on
transit. Toronto Star, February 24, 2011.
Another article in the Star's online
edition (too much on Toronto's transit in the print edition, said the
editors). The pointer from the Opinion page in the print edition was a
little misleading. It highlighted the first two of three things to thank
Mayor Rob Ford for: questioning Transit City and emphasizing subways. it
did not mention the third thing: Ford's illumination of the need to link
transit to land use arrangements. This is what the article is mostly
A new look at an old idea: Powering autos
from the grid. Globe and Mail online, February 23, 2011.
The eighth of my Economy
Lab posts. It focuses on the possibility of grid-connected trucks,
suggesting that grid-connected cars present more challenges.
The pros and cons of transportation
on the grid.
Globe and Mail online, February 8, 2011.
This is the seventh of my posts to
the Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. It discusses transit applications
of grid-connected transportation, noting (again) the high cost of doing
things in the Toronto region and preparing the way to write about
grid-connected applications for personal transportation and freight
Cost of Transit City seems
way out of line. Toronto Star, January 20, 2011.
This article was published in the
Star's online edition. It suggests that the amounts budgeted for
Toronto's light-rail plan are extraordinarily high, even when compared
with other transit projects in Toronto, and the planning process for
Toronto's future transit has been distorted as a result.
batteries, and on-board generation: sources for electric traction.
Journal of Urban Technology 17(3), 53-66, 2010.
Available here is a near-final
version of this paper, which at the time had the title 'If traction
batteries don't improve soon enough, or even if they do, should PRT or
other GCVs be deployed?' The thrust of the paper is that there should be
more research and development on personal rapid transit and other forms
of grid-connected electric traction.
When will Ford's honeymoon end?
Toronto Star, December 30, 2010.
This longer-than-usual article,
requested by the Star, shows how Toronto's 44 councillors voted
on December 16 during debates on implementation of three elements of
Mayor Rob Ford's election campaign. It identifies three degrees of
alignment with the mayor's positions and suggests that the honeymoon
evident in his successes on December 16 may not last.
Future looks bleak for fuel cells.
Globe and Mail online, December 26, 2010.
This is the sixth of my posts to the
Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. It makes a case I (and many others) have
made often before: that fuel cells' main problem could be the inherent
inefficiency of the processes of making hydrogen from electricity and
then making electricity from the hydrogen. This post attracted well over
100 comments, a total that may not include a surprising number "left by
a user who has been block by our [i.e., the Globe and Mail's]
Hybrid cars: the high cost of saving
fuel. Globe and Mail online, December 15, 2010.
This is the fifth of my
posts to the Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. Unlike some of my other
posts, it attracted few comments.
Transformed Transit City just the ticket
for Toronto. Toronto Star, December 5, 2010.
This article is based on the 'sooner'
part of the presentation that appears next in this list. The
presentation elaborated financial and other details
– including a map – about a proposed revision to Toronto's main transit
plan. The revision would provide for twice as many electrified route-kilometres
by 2020 within the same budget, chiefly by deploying trolleybuses rather
than light-rail transit. One commenter on the article suggested I had
not properly allowed for future inflation while comparing the
anticipated cost of the tunnelled portion of the Eglinton LRT line with
that of the Spadina subway line. I believe I did do a proper accounting.
The Excel file
here shows what I did. (Numbers differ a little from those in the
presentation below because a slightly better method was used for the
article.) The results are striking. In 2010 dollars, the Eglinton LRT
tunnel is to cost $376.4 million per kilometre, compared with $279.2
million per kilometre for the Spadina subway extension. If as I proposed
there were to be a subway along this part of Eglinton instead of an LRT,
the proposed LRT maintenance and storage yard near Eglinton would have
to become a subway yard. This would add to the cost of a subway but well
under half of the total cost difference. A subway would still be much
less costly than an LRT.
Electrifying Toronto's transportation:
Sooner and Later. Presentation at the November 26, 2010 meeting of
the Greater Toronto Transportation Conference (GTTC).
The GTTC is "an organization of
senior people involved in transportation in the Greater Toronto Area" (http://gttconline.com).
This presentation at a regular monthly meeting of the GTTC was in
two parts. The 'sooner' part is described in connection with the Toronto
Star article above. The 'later' part concerned possible deployment of
personal rapid transit (PRT).
Batteries vs. gas – so far, it's no
Globe and Mail online, November
This is the fourth of my posts to the
Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. these posts are attracting more and more
attention. This one stimulated 163 comments the same day. (Many of these
were comments on comments rather than comments on what I wrote.)
Why electricity is the best
alternative transport fuel, Globe and Mail online, November 10,
This is the third of my posts to the
Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. It attracted even more attention than the
second, not all of it favourable.
Ensuring the financial health of Canada's
transit systems. Canadian Transit Forum, vol. 20(5), November
This was a guest editorial for the
flagship publication of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. It urges
that transit systems become the strongest advocates of higher
residential and employment densities and of curbs on car ownership and
The potential for Western Canada to
become a leader in Electrically Powered Land Transport, by Anthony
Perl and Richard Gilbert. Canada West Foundation. November 2010.
This 37-page document was prepared
for the Canada West Foundation's Going for Gold program as one of a
series of papers on Western Canada's economic competitiveness. It was
written originally in late 2008 and updated in late 2009.
Encouraging the Rapid Adoption of
Electric Vehicles in Canada. Electric Mobility Canada, October 2010.
I prepared this 11-page position paper for EMC's dealings with the
Why Eastern Canada needs a strategic
oil plan, Globe and Mail online, October 18, 2010.
This is the second of my posts to the
Globe & Mail's Economy Lab. It seems to have attracted much more
attention than the first, which may be because where it was posted was
not so well known at the beginning of this month.
What happens when a mayor does not
have council's support? Toronto Star, October 4, 2010,
This article, which aroused
considerable comment, was written in response to apparent lack of
understanding among Toronto mayoral candidates as to what they might, if
elected, be able to achieve.
Why Quebec is poised for an oil shock.
Globe and Mail online, October 1, 2010.
On this day, the Globe and Mail newspaper massively
revamped its product. The changes were evident chiefly in the printed
version but included new features in the online version. One of the
online changes was the start of a Report on Business feature named
Economy Lab, billed as a "A daily post from The Globe's roster of top
economists and experts" concerned with "delving into the forces that
shape our living standards." I have been asked to make a biweekly
contribution to this series. This is my first contribution, perhaps the
first in the series. This brief article notes that Quebec imports over
90% of its oil from outside Canada -- with Algeria as the main supplier
-- and there is no access to a petroleum reserve such as it maintained
by the U.S. (which imports only 63% of its oil). In the event of supply
interruptions, which seem increasingly likely, Quebec could be extremely
Come Hell or High Oil Costs, The
Mark, July 14, 2010,
This brief item is a requested
response to the energy chapter of a June 2010 report entitled Open
Canada prepared for the Canadian International Council.
Transportation Options for Toronto,
This is a slightly longer, annotated
version of a paper prepared for Toronto Debates 2010, a series of
debates to be held in September 2010 among mayoral candidates in the
October 25 municipal elections. The shorter version is one of some 24
papers – two on transportation – being solicited to help frame the
New Transport Systems for the 21st
Century, June 2010.
This is a paper prepared in
connection with a presentation made as part of a colloquium organized by
the School of Management, Université du Québec à Montréal, entitled
L’électrification des transports au Québec : Du mythe à la réalité … À
quelle vitesse ? held at the Palais de Congrès, Montréal, May 20-21,
2010. The paper is to be published in the proceedings of the colloquium.
10 good ideas for mayoral candidates.
Toronto Star, June 17, 2010.
This brief article was fashioned as a
contribution to debates leading up to the municipal elections to be held
in Toronto on October 25, 2010. It builds on several previous items in
the Toronto Star and other places (most are listed below) and
numerous discussions with friends and acquaintances.
Transportation in the post-carbon
world, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. In The Post Carbon
Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises (Richard
Heinberg, Daniel Lerch, eds), Watershed Media (distributed by University of California Press), 2010, ISBN
Available here is a near-final
version of this book chapter, which reprises, updates, and elaborates
some of the themes of our book Transport Revolutions: Moving People
and Freight without Oil, more information about which is available
at the book's Web site referenced in the box above.
Child-friendly cities are livable
Annual Report for 2009-2010 of St. Stephen's Community House.
I've reached my six-year limit as a
member of the board of directors of this social service agency that
serves the west side of downtown Toronto (see www.ststephenshouse.com).
This brief article touches on St. Stephen's goal of helping build a
livable city that serves every resident.
Technology Roadmap for Canada.
This 71-page document, available in
English here and also in French, was prepared
under the direction of and Industry Steering Committee with support from
the Government of Canada. Details of the Roadmap process are at
Transport and Energy Turmoil: Lessons
from Recent Events, Prospects for the Medium Term. Robert Hunter
Memorial Lecture, University of Toronto, March 10.
Child- and Youth-Friendly Land-Use and
Transport Planning Guidelines.
Numerous documents are available at
the Web site of the project with the above title,
documents are co-authored with Catherine O'Brien. Some have other
authors too. The principal documents are: 1. A document for each
of Canada's 10 provinces, about 80 pages in length, that sets out the
guidelines for each province. The provincial documents are in English
except the one for Quebec, which is in French. The guidelines are the
same for each province but the texts of the documents varies
considerably, reflecting legal, cultural, and linguistic differences. In
the Quebec version, the guidelines are also ordered a little
differently. (The document for British Columbia remains in near-final
draft form. The document for Ontario requires a major updating for
reasons given at the Web site.) 2. A document in English and French that
sets out the Canadian guidelines. 3. A document in English, with a long
summary in French, that sets out guidelines for rural communities. (A
complete translation into French is pending.) 4. A review of relevant
literature that focuses on studies concerning youth aged 12-19 years.
Reassess Transit City – It has too many
flaws, Toronto Star, March 18, 2010.
The Transit City plan to add eight
streetcar lines is portrayed as another example of Toronto's lamentable
record of transit planning that began almost 40 years ago with the
routing of the Spadina subway line through a low-density area that has
still not been redeveloped. Transit City's greatest absurdity is the
proposed spending of $3 billion (or more) to provide a tunnelled
streetcar service for 10 kilometres along Eglinton Avenue – which could
be more than the cost of providing a heavy rail (subway) service.
Civic reform starts with fewer
councillors, Toronto Star, January 8, 2010.
Argues for Toronto wards twice the
present size, and thus 22 rather than 44 ward councillors, and the
addition of six councillors elected at large (runners-up on the
mayoralty ballot) who would have primary responsibility for planning and
infrastructure matters of city-wide importance.
Postpone the Copenhagen
This article was submitted to the
Globe & Mail newspaper for publication but was not published. It
suggested that the United Nations Climate Change conference to be held
in December 2009 be postponed for three years to allow time for more
work to be done of the basic physics of the atmosphere. Available
evidence does not rule out the possibility that late-20th-century
warming was mostly a confluence of natural climatic cycles. Meanwhile,
there are at least three good reasons to decrease consumption of fossil
fuels: to avoid local pollution, to cope with looming scarcity of some
fuels, and to reduce ocean acidification.
National Capital Region: Mobility and
Transportation Systems Foundation Paper, August 2009.
This 11-page paper was one of 11 developed for
"Choosing Our Future", a joint planning initiative of the City of
Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, and the National Capital Commission.
According to its sponsors, the goal of the project was "to help Canada’s
Capital Region face the challenges of the 21st century, and integrate
concepts of sustainability and resiliency into all facets of regional
planning and design." During 2011, the project is to yield "a
Sustainability and Resilience Plan, a Risk Mitigation and Prevention
Plan, and a Regional Energy and Emissions Plan" (see
Municipal associations, by Don Stevenson and
Richard Gilbert. In Language Matters: How Canadian Voluntary
Associations Manage English and French, edited by David Cameron and
Richard Simeon. University of British Columbia Press,
ISBN 9780774815031, pp. 74-94, 2009.
Like the 2005 article in the
Canadian Public Administration Journal (see below), this book
chapter has its origin in a paper written for the then Canada
Information Office in 1999. That article focused on the Federation of
Canadian Municipalities. This book chapter focuses on
provincial-municipal associations. A near-final version of the book
chapter is available here.
sustainable transport in developing countries, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation,
3(2), 110-121, 2009.
This is a much improved version of a paper presented at a conference in Abu Dhabi in 2005. That
version of the paper is available below with the title 'Tethered vehicle Systems for
Sustainable Transport in Developing Countries'.
Planning for needs of
children and youth, by Richard Gilbert and Catherine O'Brien,
Municipal World, 119(7), July 2009, 15-18.
This article was developed in associated with the
Ontario Professional Planners Institute. It was based on OPPI's Call to
Action entitled 'Plan for the needs of children and youth'. The link is
to a copy of the Call to Action.
Preparing transport in China—and
the rest of the world—for oil depletion.
This is a near-final draft of a paper prepared for a
workshop entitled ‘Energy, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change:
The Challenge and Strategy for China’, part of the Third World Forum on
China Studies, Shanghai, China, September 8-9, 2008
for the Current State of Electric Vehicle Technology,
by Fleet Technology Partners and
Richard Gilbert, June 2008, 32 pages.
This document was
the foundation paper for the development of Canada's Electric Vehicle
Technology Roadmap, which is to be available late in 2009. It was
prepared for Natural Resources Canada and an Electric Vehicle Industry
Transport revolutions – how to fuel
transport once oil supplies dwindle, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl.
Energy World, No 360, May 2008, 10-11.
This invited paper in a publication of the UK-based
Energy Institute sets out some of the themes of the book Transport
Revolutions (see box above). A longer, pre-publication version is
Preparing transport for
oil depletion: focus on China and the U.S.
In late January and early February
2008 I gave a seminar tour of UK universities and spoke at a meeting
organized by a UK parliamentary group. The slides used are here.
Revitalizing Union Station: A Toronto
showpiece for emerging railway age, Toronto Star, January 29,
This item criticizes current plans
for Toronto's Union Station and makes an alternative proposal.
Hamilton, Ontario: Towards a Paradigm of Energy-First Planning,
Journal of Urban Technology, 14(2), 103-121.
Provided here is not the published
version of the paper but an earlier version before incorporation of
reviewers’ excellent comments and some other changes. The paper
describes and provides some analysis of the development and impact of the 2006
report Hamilton: The Electric City (see below).
Declining Oil Production as a Catalyst for High-Speed Rail in North
America, by Anthony Perl and Richard Gilbert. June 2007, 22 pages.
This paper was
prepared in connection with a presentation at the 11th World Conference
on Transport Research, held at the University of California, Berkeley,
June 24-28, 2007.
SECTIONS: Introduction; The impasse on passenger trains in North
America; Anatomy of the impasse in the U.S.; Anatomy of the impasse in
Canada; World oil use and projections; The peak in oil production; Oil
price increases after the peak in production; The preferred scenario:
anticipating high oil prices; Another scenario: reacting to high oil
prices; Concluding remarks.
Review of George Monbiot’s ‘Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning’,
Literary Review of Canada, March 2007.
unfavourable book review appeared as the first of a set of three items on
climate change, positioned as a sequel to an article by Mark Jaccard in
an earlier issue. The other two items were by Laurel MacDowell, which
was mostly a response to Jaccard’s earlier piece, and by Mark Jaccard,
who responded to MacDowell’s and my submissions.
All three items are available here, courtesy of the Literary Review
To Incinerate or not to
Alternatives Journal, 33 (2-3), 47-49.
This was the second in
Alternatives’ Point-Counterpoint series. I presented a case for
incineration of non-recyclable waste (vs. landfill). Mark Winfield of
the Pembina Institute rebutted, I responded, and he had the final
word. Provided here is an earlier
version of my opening argument, originally entitled ‘A
case for incinerating waste’. This version provided sources for many of
the statements made. (The published version is not annotated.)
the Core of Future Land-Based Transport Systems, by Richard Gilbert and
Anthony Perl. Energy Policy, 35, 3053-3060.
This article is in part a response to one by Joseph Romm
entitled ‘The car and fuel of the future’. We argue that plug-in hybrids
will not be the “car of the future” but rather “a transition vehicle
towards grid-connection or full battery operation”. We say that electricity rather
than ethanol would be the (land) vehicle fuel of the future. The version
provided here is the one submitted to the journal. Among other changes,
the published article has improved versions of Table 2 and Figure 3.
Introduction; Energy constraints; Uncertain prospects for biofuels; GCVs
[Grid-connected Vehicles] offer a better solution; Personal GCVs;
Implementation of GCV-based systems; Conclusion.
Sustainability and Transport, Berkeley
Planning Journal, 19, 189-194.
‘thought piece’ briefly discusses the 2005 report Integrating
Sustainability into the Transportation Planning Process, produced by
a committee of the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB) on which I
served. The article notes that until the appearance of this report transport sustainability had
been a stronger part of federal discourse in Canada than in the U.S.,
although not with evident effect. The TRB report is applauded for listing
depletion of nonrenewable fuels as the first unsustainable impact to be
addressed when integrating sustainability into transport planning, but
criticized for its lack of urgency.
Smart Meters and
Social Housing. November 2006.
This presentation was made on
behalf of Ontario’s Social Housing Services Corporation to the Annual
Conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, Toronto,
November 19-21. It sets out the implications for social housing of the
Ontario government’s requirement that all homes be equipped with ‘smart’ electricity meters by 2010. The presentation notes, for example, that
residents of social housing have much lower incomes than average and are
more likely to have electric heating and be at home during peak periods;
and they are less likely to have air conditioning. Moreover, the extent
of peak (high-price) charging is to be greater during the winter than the
summer, even though peak electricity use in Ontario now occurs during
Sweden has considered breaking its
dependence on oil by 2020; Should Eastern Canada do this too, and how?
This was a presentation at the 10th
Annual Fall Conference of the Parkland Institute, University of Alberta,
To reduce vulnerability to oil imports from unstable regions of the
world, and to reduce climate impacts, Sweden proposed in 2005 to move
towards becoming an oil-free society. (This goal was abandoned by a
centre-right government that took office during 2006.) Eastern Canada is
almost as dependent on imported oil as Sweden and should perhaps also
consider becoming oil-free. The presentation sets out the details of
this argument and proposes a six-part prescription for breaking
dependence on oil.
Why we need Electric Mobility.
This was the main presentation at the
Annual General Meeting of Electric Mobility Canada/Mobilité électrique
Canada, held in Toronto on November 9.
Car Use. October 2006.
This was a presentation to
the ‘Leading Edge 2006’ conference, held in Burlington, Ontario, and
arranged by the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association. The
presentation notes that if people have cars they are inclined to use
them, and that the extent of car ownership depends mostly on income and
density. It concludes by arguing that a planning goal for the Greater
Toronto Area should be to reduce the number of cars owned, chiefly by
arranging land uses so as to obviate the need to own a car, or a second
or third car. It also argues that transit
infrastructure should be installed only when it can pay for itself
through the farebox, which may mean raising settlement densities to
ensure sufficient ridership.
Building Subways without
Subsidies. Toronto Star, August 28, 2006.
article, originally written late in 2005, argues that extensions of
Toronto’s subway (metro) lines would not need massive capital or even
operating subsidies if each new station had about 40,000 residents or
jobs within a square kilometre. Then, extensions would pay for
themselves from fare revenues in 35 years. Well-empowered development
corporations would be required to ensure sufficient and timely
development. With four such extensions over the next 15 years (Spadina,
Yonge, Bloor-Danforth west, and Scarborough RT replacement), the City of
Toronto would gain half of the region’s expected population growth
rather than a tenth, sprawl would be reversed, and major steps would be
taken towards preparation for a post-carbon era. (A sequel—Paying for
Toronto’s Light-Rail Plan—was written
early in 2007, but not published.
Plug-in Hybrids: the
Cars of the Future?
This was the opening presentation to a workshop
entitled ‘Electric Mobility plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles’, held in
Ottawa on July 24 by Canada’s National Research Council. NRC was
considering doing work on plug-in hybrids. The workshop announced NRC’s
interest and sought advice as to what should be research and development
priorities re. plug-in hybrids.
Putting the Walk back into Sidewalk, by Gordon Brown and Richard Gilbert.
Toronto Star, June 14, 2006.
written with a neighbour, arose out of a continuing concern for
pedestrian amenity in Toronto, which has deteriorated markedly during
the last decade or so. Our aim was to help secure adoption of by Toronto
City Council of a proposal to provide a straight ‘clearway’ along
sidewalks close to buildings, locating sidewalk patios and furniture on
the curb side of the clearway. Council listened more to a few business
owners rather than to our concerns and the clearway proposal was not
adopted (although the proposal will be put forward again). What we
submitted to the Toronto Star was longer and was illustrated with
five photographs (PDF).
Sustaining the Automotive
This was an
invited presentation to a plenary session of the AUTO21 Network’s Annual
Scientific Conference, held in Vancouver on June 13-14. The title was
borrowed from the title of the session. The AUTO21 Network “was formed to focus Canadian research expertise on the task of
improving and enhancing the global competitiveness of the Canadian
automotive industry”. Its Web site is at
(With Anthony Perl, I am conducting a project supported by AUTO21 entitled
‘Automotive Policy Options in an Era of Energy Transition’. The
presentation was not directly related to this project.) The presentation
proposed that the automotive industry could be sustained by focusing
more on the energy use of its products and in particular by developing
grid-connected transport systems, notably personal rapid transport (PRT).
Urban Governance (URB650), Urban Studies
Program, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
I was the
a regular course in this program during May and June, 2006. The provided item
is the final version of the ‘Course Details’ document produced for
participants. This document sets out the structure of the course and
many of its details, and points to numerous relevant sources, many of
which are available at this Web site.
Child- and Youth-Friendly Land-use and Transport Planning
This presentation was
part of a U.S. Congressional briefing on ‘Healthy Communities for
Young and Old: How Transit and Better Community Design Help the Most
Vulnerable Generations’ held on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, by the
Environmental and Energy Study Institute on May 1, 2006.
presentation was a selected exposition of part of the Guidelines
document prepared with Catherine O’Brien in April 2005 and noted below.
Hamilton: The Electric City. Prepared for
the City of Hamilton, April 2006,
This report was
commissioned by the City of Hamilton, Ontario.
On April 28, 2006, Hamilton City Council held a special meeting to
consider the report. I made a presentation to the Council.
After questioning me for 75 minutes, the Council voted to proceed
towards having further work done on the implications of and
opportunities afforded by high energy prices. The version of the
presentation provided here includes the resolution adopted by the
Council at its regular meeting on May 13 after further consideration of
the report. Also see above the 2007 article ‘Hamilton, Ontario: Towards
a Paradigm for Energy-First Planning’.
Summary; Background to this report; Oil prospects; Natural gas
prospects; Prospects for high oil and natural gas prices; Impacts of
fuel price increases; Strategic planning objectives for energy
constraints; Reducing energy use by Hamilton’s transport; Reducing
energy use in Hamilton’s buildings; Land-use planning for energy
constraints; Energy production opportunities; Economic and social
development through preparing for energy constraints; Matters raised by
City Council: Aerotropolis; Matters raised by City Council: Goods
movement; Matters raised by City Council: City fleet; Matters raised by
City Council: HSR; How an energy-based strategy could be paid for and
its components approved; Next steps for Hamilton: The Electric City;
Reference and other notes; About the author.
Electricity Metering and
Social Housing in Ontario. April
2006. 51 pages.
This report was
prepared for Ontario’s Social Housing Services Corporation.
challenges addressed by this report;
Provincial direction and Ontario Energy Board action;
A note on power demand and energy consumption;
How demand and price vary with time of day;
Electricity supply and demand in Ontario;
Residential consumption of electricity;
Variation in residential consumption with income;
Is time-of-use metering effective?;
Smart meters: advantages and disadvantages;
Load control: a complement or alternative to time-of-use pricing;
Survey of social housing providers;
Individual metering and sub-metering;
Challenges and solutions for social housing providers;
The Potential Impacts of
Fuel Prices on Canada’s Transport Systems and Cities.
This presentation was made to a workshop entitled ‘When Energy Demand Exceeds
Supply: Impacts on Transportation and Cities’, held by the Centre for
Sustainable Transportation, University of Winnipeg, April 19, 2006.
Technology and Transport: New Modes for a New Century.
This was a presentation made to the Annual Conference of the Community Planning
Association of Alberta in Red Deer on April 4. PDF. This
presentation had some focus on how higher oil prices will enhance the
feasibility of implementing a high-speed rail link between Calgary and
Peak oil and its
consequences for urban communities like Hamilton.
This was an invited
lecture at the Annual General Meeting of Environment Hamilton,
co-sponsored by the Victor K. Copps Chair of Urban Studies, McMaster
University. It previewed, with the City of Hamilton’s consent, the
already contentious report Hamilton: The Electric City, released
a few weeks later (see above).
Putting Energy First 1, PDF. Putting Energy First 2. PDF.
These are two presentations made to
the Liveable Peel Conference, organized by the Region of Peel and held
at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, on February 10, 2006. The
presentations were in sessions entitled ‘Coming to terms with the energy
dilemma’ and ‘Changing the course of future transportation in
Globalisation, Transport, and the Environment. January 2006, 57 pages.
This document was
prepared for the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
in trade flows; Trends in flows of capital; A note on absolute and
relative growth; Preliminary conclusions re. trade, capital movements,
and globalisation; Movement of freight and people by air; Movement of
freight by water; Movement of freight by road; Movement of freight by
rail; Conclusion regarding the movement of freight; Transport and time
costs; Potential impact on trade of higher transport fuel prices;
Environmental impacts of transport activity; Mitigating the impacts of
globalisation-related transport activity; Sources; Notes.
Coping with Canadian Federalism:
The Case of the Federation
of Canadian Municipalities, by Don Stevenson and Richard Gilbert.
Canadian Public Administration Journal, 48(4), 528-551, 2005.
The version available here is almost identical to the published version.
SECTIONS: Abstract; Municipal governments in Canada and their
associations; The Federation of Canadian
Municipalities; Two decades of decline; Two decades of growth; The
role of the executive director ; Analysis and
conclusions (Lessons learned: structure and process; Order of
government or interest group?; Current and future challenges);
Appendix: A note on FCM’s membership,
particularly the share held by Quebec municipalities; Appendix B:
Notes on ‘orders of government’ and the ‘new deal for cities’; Notes.
Action Plan for Electric Mobility in Canada.
2005, 45 pages.
This paper was prepared for the Centre for Sustainable Transportation and the Centre d’éxperimentation des véhicules électriques du Québec (CEVEQ).
Overview and introduction; Definition of electric mobility; Electric
mobility is increasing; Why electric mobility needs to be promoted,
accelerated, and exploited in Canada; Current programs for electric
mobility; What is happening re: electric mobility in the US and Europe;
Goals for electric mobility; Research and development needs to support
the goals; The value of establishing a network, and what it could look
like; Recommendations; Reference and other notes.
To the Transport
Barricades, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. Globe & Mail,
December 2, 2005.
This newspaper article argues that in our energy-constrained future, electric
vehicles—especially grid-connected vehicles—will prevail over vehicles
powered by internal combustion engines. Ford and, particularly, General
Motors should be helped out of their present doldrums by support for
embracing this future rather than resisting it, making Canada a world
leader in the emerging transport paradigm.
Settlement Pattern, Physical
Activity, and the Body Weights of Children and Youth, by Richard
Gilbert and Catherine O’Brien. October 2005, 57 Pages.
Preparation of this report on behalf of the Centre
for Sustainable Transportation was supported by a
grant from the Institute for Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes,
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to the Joint Program in
Transportation, University of Toronto. This preliminary analysis was thwarted by the
discovery of considerable bias in the conduct of Statistics Canada’s
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), both in
sample selection and in the application of weighting factors. The report
may be of interest even if only as a caution in respect of the use of
Introduction; Review of literature and available data; Analysis of NLSCY
data; Proposals for further work; End Notes.
Let’s Reroute our
Energy Strategy. Globe & Mail, October 15, 2005.
This newspaper article notes that
Canada is a net exporter of oil and oil products—which it is required to
provide to the U.S. by the terms of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA)—but most of what is used in
Canada is imported, much from politically unstable countries. Canada is
also a net exporter of natural gas, to the U.S., a special concern
because production has peaked but, according to NAFTA, exports must
continue. Canada has thus as much of a security concern about energy as
the U.S., but has given the matter scant attention. Energy security
should be a prime Canadian consideration in further debate about NAFTA.
Meeting Energy Management
Challenges for Social Housing Operators, by Richard Gilbert and
David Chu. September 2005, 6 pages.
This was a poster session paper given for
Ontario’s Social Housing Services Corporation at the World Energy
Engineering Congress held Austin, Texas.
Abstract; Social housing in Ontario; Energy prices; Challenges posed by
building stock; Data challenges; Meeting time-of-day challenges;
The Port of Churchill and the
Northern East-West Corridor Concept, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony
Perl. September 2005, 4 pages. PDF.
This preliminary proposal to the Churchill Gateway
Development Corporation was prepared for the Centre for Sustainable
SECTIONS: Overview; Trade patterns; West coast port
congestion; Oil prospects and implications; Churchill’s availability;
Churchill’s interest; Proposed report.
Preparing Hamilton for Energy
Constraints. September 2005.
This presentation to the Greater Toronto
Transportation Conference on September 23 was the first airing of some
of the ideas that went into the report Hamilton: The Electric City, eventually produced in April 2006.
Inter-City Buses. June 2005, 9 pages.
The report was done for the Centre for Sustainable Transportation with
support from the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Amalgamated Transit Union, in collaboration with Professor James Purdham of the
of Toronto’s Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit. It was a
preliminary examination conducted chiefly to test methods of measuring
the concentrations of transport-related emissions inside vehicles.
No unacceptable value of carbon monoxide was recorded, but five of 19
nitrogen dioxide values were higher than the standard and two values of
each of PM2.5 and PM10 (out of 14 and 19) exceeded what might be
considered acceptable levels. Subsequent work could use these methods to look at exposure of children
inside automobiles and on sidewalks.
Energy and Transport Futures,
by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. June 2005, 96 pages.
This major report was prepared for Canada’s
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
SECTIONS: Summary; Introduction; Transport technologies;
Fuels for internal combustion engines; Fuels for electric drives;
Socio-economic drivers of transport activity; Energy and transport: A
soft or a hard landing?; Acknowledgements; End notes.
Sustainable Transportation Monitor,
Issue No. 11.
Centre for Sustainable Transportation, June 2005, 9 pages. PDF.
The Centre moves to
the University of Winnipeg; The Centre’s Mission and Action Agenda;
Vision and definition; Performance measurements; Emissions from freight
transport; Federal Government’s climate change plans; MOU with the
automotive industry; Health and youth; The real sustainability issue?;
Glimmers of hope; Many thanks; The Centre for Sustainable
Transportation; Reference notes.
Child- and Youth-Friendly Land-Use and
Transport Planning Guidelines (Ontario) by Richard Gilbert and
Catherine O’Brien. April
2005. 72 pages.
This document was
prepared for the Centre for Sustainable Transportation with support from
the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It is to be the first of ten such
documents (see 2010 section above), one for each province, setting out a common set of what are
presently 27 guidelines, with differing supporting text according to
legislative and cultural imperatives.
Summary; Part I – Towards
guidelines: Why have these guidelines, Transport and land use, Transport
and young people’s health, Identifying the travel needs of children and
youth; Part II – The guidelines: General considerations in guideline
development, Putting children and youth first, Providing for children
and youth as pedestrians, Providing for children and youth as cyclists,
Providing for children and youth as transit users, Concerning school
buses, Concerning children and youth in automobiles, Reducing
transport’s adverse impacts on children and youth; Part III – Applying the
guidelines: Challenges, barriers, and actions to overcome the barriers,
Involving children and youth in identifying and resolving problems,
Towards implementation of the guidelines; Appendix A: Overview of
Transit-Supportive Land Use Planning Guidelines (IBI Group); Appendix B:
Transit use, walking and bicycling by young people in the Toronto region
(with a note on some U.S. data); Acknowledgements; End Notes. A revised
version of this document was produced in 2009 and version for each of
the other nine Canadian provinces are to be produced by March 2010.
on Children, Youth, and Transport, by Catherine O’Brien and Richard
Gilbert. 26 pages in total.
As part of work supported by a grant from the Ontario Trillium
Foundation to the Centre for Sustainable Transportation, which included
the Guidelines (item next above) and the Kids on the Move
report (in the selection for 2003, below), Catherine O’Brien and I
produced five booklets on ‘Children, Youth, and Transport’ that are
bundled together here as one file. In order, the booklets are directed
to health and recreation professionals (6 pages), educators (6 pages),
municipal officials (6 pages), parents (4 pages), and youth (4 pages).
This work is continuing under Catherine O’Brien’s direction with a focus
on using the booklets to help ensure municipal adoption of the
Guidelines (previous item).
Defining Sustainable Transportation
2. March 2005, 22 pages.
This document was prepared for the Centre for
Sustainable Transportation with support from Transport Canada. It is an elaboration and update of Defining Sustainable
Transportation 1 completed in 2004 and not listed here.
Overview; Transport Canada’s Sustainable Development Strategy;
Definitions of sustainable transportation; Towards a widely accepted
definition of sustainable transportation; Further examples of use of the
Centre’s definition or the EU version of the definition; Measurement in
Europe of progress towards sustainable transportation; Is a definition
of sustainable transportation needed?; End notes.
Tethered Vehicle Systems for
Sustainable Transport in Developing Countries. January 2005, 12
This paper was prepared for presentation at
‘Environment 2005: Transport, Health, Environment; International
Conference on Sustainable Transportation in Developing Countries’, Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Introduction; Energy use by tethered and other vehicles; Tethered
vehicles can use a variety of primary energy sources; Tethered vehicle
technology is readily available; Tethered vehicles are restricted to
powered routes; Tethered vehicles require continuously available,
centrally provided power; Leapfrogging developed countries’ transport
strategies; End Notes. A version of this paper appeared in the International Journal of Sustainable
Transportation in 2009.
Background to the
Centre’s Press Release on the Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
February 2005, 2 pages.
This paper was prepared for the Centre for Sustainable Transportation.
The Kyoto Protocol,
an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC), had been adopted at the Third Conference of the Parties
to the UNFCCC, held in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997. It did not come
into effect until February 16, 2005, when a sufficient number of
designated countries had ratified it (Canada among them). To acknowledge
the event, the Centre issued a press
release on the previous day (PDF),
and the above background document. The release and the document
highlighted transport’s unusually high share of the growth in
emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from Canadian sources between 1990
and 2003, particularly freight transport. They noted Canada’s special
difficulty in meeting its Protocol obligations, namely that its rate of
population growth was much higher than other ratifiers. The documents
noted too that the federal government’s actions re. GHGs had not been
commensurate with transport’s contribution to their growth. Several
remedies were proposed.
Tethered Vhicle Systems for Sustainable Cities.
article is based on a paper presented at the Natural City conference, University of
Toronto, June 2004. After
writing it, I moved towards using the term ‘grid-connected’ rather
than ‘tethered’ to describe vehicles that get their energy while in
motion from a rail or wire.
SECTIONS: Introduction: the imminence of
energy constraints; Energy use by tethered and other vehicles; Tethered
vehicles can use a variety of primary energy sources; Tethered vehicle
technology is readily available; Tethered vehicles are restricted to
powered routes; Tethered vehicles require continuously available,
centrally provided power; Conclusion; References.
Travel, Tourism Travel, and the Environment.
October 2004, 24 pages.
document was prepared for the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) as the ‘issues paper’ for a workshop with the same
title held in Berlin, Germany, on November 4-5. (For the workshop
program, with links to some of the presentations, click
SECTIONS: Introduction; Defining terms: leisure travel; Defining terms:
tourism travel; Trends in leisure travel ; Trends in tourism travel ;
Factors in trends in leisure and tourism travel ; Environmental impacts
of leisure and tourism travel; Remedies concerning leisure travel and
tourism travel ; Sustainable tourism; Questions posed; End Notes.
Introductory remarks on Energy Supply Challenges and Solutions. October
The Netherlands held the presidency of the
European Union for the second half of 2004. A feature of their term was
a focus on energy and transport. The centrepiece of this focus was a
conference, Energy in Motion, held in Amsterdam on October 19-20. I was
asked to chair a session at this meeting entitled
‘Tackling the challenges:
looking for a common understanding on the sense of urgency and the role
of the transport sector’. These sides were used with my introductory
remarks to the session.
Optimal Policies for Transit Infrastructure.
This presentation was made at a
conference entitled ‘What is Good Public Policy in Canadian
Municipalities?’, held in Ottawa part of a project entitled ‘Multilevel
governance’ being conducted at the University of Western Ontario, funded
chiefly by the Social Science Research Council’s Major Collaborative
Research Initiative program.
Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST):
Concept, goal, and strategy – The OECD’s EST Project, by Peter
Wiederkehr, Richard Gilbert, Philippe Crist, and Nadia Caïd. European
Journal of Transport Infrastructure and Research, 4(1), 11-25.
article summarizes the multinational EST project conducted by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over the
period 1995-2002, for which I was the principal consultant.
SECTIONS: The EST Project; Environmentally Sustainable Transport:
Definition, criteria, goals and targets; Criteria for EST; The modal
split of EST in 2030; Economic and social implications of the BAU and
EST scenarios; Policies and strategies - the critical path to EST;
Demonizing SUVs lets the real
devils go free, Globe & Mail,
September 16, 2004,
This newspaper article set out how
the focus on SUVs, admittedly deserved,
detracts from two much more important factors in the growth in oil use
for transport: heavy trucks and the increase in the size and weight of
all road vehicles.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Truck Activity
in Urban Areas: Overview of the Literature and Available Data.
PDF.This was a contribution to a project
entitled ‘Transport et développement économique; Étude de cas sur la
ville de Sherbrooke’, led by Alain Rajotte of the Université de
Sherbrooke, Québec, and funded chiefly by a grant to the City of
Sherbrooke from the Green Municipal Fund of the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities. A need to focus resources on other parts of the project
meant that my review remained incomplete, although much of it was
incorporated into the project report.
Urban Transportation, by Richard Gilbert and Neal Irwin. July 2004,
Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, this
document reached only a second draft, which is provided here.
SECTIONS: Executive Summary;
Transport supply in urban areas, including trends;
Transport demand in urban areas, including trends;
Challenges, barriers, and opportunities;
Overview of selected governance and funding frameworks;
Key transport stakeholders;
Snapshots of research and related activities;
Appendix A: Extracts from ‘Transit Means
Business’; End Notes.
Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 10. Centre for Sustainable
Transportation, June 2004, 22 pages.
The theme of this issue was ‘The need to
reduce transport energy use and ways to do it’. It was the first
Monitor that was not produced in both English and French.
SECTION: The need to reduce transport energy use, and ways of doing it;
Energy update: oil; Energy update: natural gas; Energy update: concluding comments; The remarkable recent growth in energy use for trucking;
Reducing oil consumption by improving the efficiency of
truck use; Actual load factors for inter-city truck traffic in
Canada; Raising load factors; Reducing fuel use by personal vehicles; Tethered vehicles for an era of energy constraints;
Disadvantages of tethered vehicles; End notes.
Energy Constraints and Transport Sustainability. June 2004,
This was one of two overlapping invited
made to this year’s Windsor Workshop, a biennial ‘transportation
technology and fuels forum’ organized by Natural Resources Canada, held
in Toronto on June 14-17.
Achieving Real Sustainability through Much Lower Transport Fuel Use.
This was the other presentation at the Windsor Workshop.
Energy Constraints could ensure a Major Role for Tethered Vehicles in
Canada’s next Transport Revolution, by Richard Gilbert and Mee-Lan
Wong. In Transportation Revolutions: Proceedings of the 39th Annual
Conference, Canadian Transportation Research Forum, 2004, pp.
This paper, presented at the CTRF meeting in Calgary
on May 9-12, was among
the first presentations of the importance of tethered vehicles, a term
later changed to grid-connected vehicles.
How a Transport Futures Assessment Could
Facilitate Canada’s Next Transportation Revolution, by Anthony Perl and
Transportation Revolutions: Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference,
Canadian Transportation Research Forum, 2004, pp. 283-295.
This presentation, also make at the
CTRF meeting, concerned a
proposal entitled ‘Canadian Transport Futures Assessment’ being made for
a $4.5-million Major Collaborative Research Initiative grant from
Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The proposal
team, led by Anthony Perl, included 35 researchers in six countries. I
played a major role in the development of the proposal, which reached a
short-list of nine from an initial field of 45. The proposal was not
successful in 2004. A resubmission in 2005 that scrupulously
incorporated the 2004 selection committee’s comments was not
Civil Aviation and Climate Policy:
Status, Challenges, and Policies from a Trans-Atlantic Comparative
Perspective, by Andreas Pastowski and Richard Gilbert. April 2004.
This paper arose out of a presentation made at the STELLA conference
held in Quebec City in June 2003 (Sustainable
Transport in Europe and Links and Liaisons with the Americas). The paper
was to be published in the Journal of Transport Geography, but
the challenges of transatlantic collaboration lead to our missing a
deadline and then not summoning up enough interest to submit it for
inclusion in a later issue of the Journal. The paper remains
Soft Measures and
Transport Behaviour. In Communicating Environmentally Sustainable
Transport, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
Paris, France, 2004, pp. 123-179.
This was the ‘issues paper’ for an OECD
workshop entitled ‘Communicating Environmentally Sustainable Transport;
the Role of Soft Measures in Achieving EST’ held in Berlin, Germany, on
December 5-6, 2003. The book referenced above is the proceedings of the
workshop. My issues paper, provided here, is Appendix 1 of this book.
Also provided here is Appendix 2, the workshop program. The following
list of contents represents my paper only:
Chapter 1. Definition of terms; scope and purpose of this paper; Chapter
2. The EST visions and their importance (Overview
of the EST project; visions and conclusions;
Scale of challenges involved in achieving EST;
Soft measures identified during the EST
project; Barriers to
attainment of EST;
Conclusions from the EST project concerning implementation);
Chapter 3. Key factors in the movement of people (The
importance of car ownership; Economic factors; Settlement density; Transport facilities);
Chapter 4. Other factors in transport behavior (Views
about human behaviour; Societal factors; Individual factors; Attitudes and behaviour;
Chapter 5. Roles of advertising; Chapter 6. Quick review of some
research on the effectiveness of soft measures (Some
negative assessments; Some more positive assessments;
Enhanced soft measures);
Chapter 7. Conclusions concerning the use of soft measures; Chapter 8. A
step beyond soft measures: environmental supports for desired transport
behaviour; Chapter 9. Draft workshop recommendations; Appendix A:
Workshop programme; Appendix B: Five approaches to explaining human
behaviour; End Notes.
Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 9. Centre for Sustainable
Transportation, December 2003, 11 pages.
The theme of this issue was ’Children
and Transportation’. A 12-page French version is also available.
SECTIONS: Children and
transportation; Kids on the move in Halton and Peel; Travel by children
and young people in Halton and Peel; Transport’s contribution to the
childhood obesity epidemic; The Centre for Sustainable Transportation;
Energy Options. November 2003.
I was the discussant at a symposium entitled ‘Energy and Environment: Making Choices’ held in Ottawa by the Royal
Society of Canada. I made a presentation, the link to which is above. I
also prepared a one-page note on the issues before event.
What Sustainable Transportation will mean
for Conservation Authorities. November 2003.
This was an invited presentation made at the 10th Anniversary
A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium held in Alliston, Ontario.
Sustainable Transportation Performance Indicators.
This was an invited presentation at
the Annual Conference of the Transportation Association of Canada. St.
John’s, Newfoundland, September 2003.
Burn, baby, burn, Globe & Mail,
October 22, 2003. PDF.
This newspaper article on the City of Toronto’s waste
management predicament suggested that “ideological fixations and
scaremongering have worked at City Hall to obscure the substantial
superiority of incineration over all landfill and much recycling”.
Kids on the Move in
Halton and Peel, by Catherine
O’Brien and Richard Gilbert. October 2003, 38 pages.
This report is on work for the Centre
for Sustainable Transportation funded by the Ontario Trillium
Foundation.It sought to assess mobility issues of children and youth in
two suburban regions immediately west of Toronto
Kids on the Move;
Available data on
travel by children and youth in Halton and Peel;
objectives and process;
(Adapting the Kids on the Move manual; Awareness raising; Actions
that could be taken);
lessons learned (Education; Development planning that fosters children’s
health; Leadership from school boards, principals and teachers is
critical; Creating a culture of mutual support rather than a culture of
fear; Children know what kind of neighbourhood would permit them to
access the places they regularly travel; Youth and transportation;
Consistent financial support for sustainable transportation);
with Kids on the Move in Halton and Peel;
Appendix A: Health impacts of transportation;
Examples of Initiatives in Canada and Europe;
Appendix D: Scope
give the United Nations an Asian home, South China Morning Post,
July 12, 2003.
This article in a Hong Kong newspaper argues that Hong Kong would be hard
to resist as an alternative location for the UN headquarters.
last one out …, Globe & Mail, May 22, 2003.
This newspaper article suggested that high fuel prices could reduce
suburban house prices making it difficult to renew mortgages.
Integrity of land-use and
transportation planning in the Greater Toronto Area. In Eugene Lee and Anthony Perl, eds.
The Integrity Gap: Canada’s
Environmental Policy and Institutions, University of
British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC, 2003, pp. 192-217.
This book had its origin in a conference
held at the Centre for Canadian Studies at Sookmyung Women’s University,
Seoul, Korea, in February 1999.
SECTIONS: Summary; Formation of Metropolitan Toronto; Formation of the
four surrounding regions; The main issue: urban sprawl; A closer look at
transportation trends and impacts in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA);
Reducing sprawl in the GTA: Planning without integrity (Reducing sprawl
in the GTA through more intense development in; the outer suburbs ;
Reducing sprawl in the GTA through increasing the City of Toronto’s;
population; Reducing levels of transport activity); The rise and fall of
the Greater Toronto Services Board; How the Ontario Government could
show integrity; End Notes; References.
Energy and Smart
Growth. Neptis Foundation, July 2003, 35 pages.
This was one of a series of a series of nine issue papers commissioned
by the Neptis Foundation for consideration by the Central Ontario Smart
Growth Panel established by the Government of Ontario.
Introduction and overview; Recent patterns of energy use
in Ontario; Comparisons between Ontario and the rest of Canada;
Comparisons of Canada with other affluent countries and regions; Natural
gas prospects; Oil prospects; Implications for the Central Ontario Zone,
and solutions; Alternative fuels; Reducing energy consumption; What if
no action is taken, and energy prices increase?; What if action is
taken, and energy prices don’t increase?; How much change can be
achieved in years?; Energy aspects of the reports of the Smart Growth
Panels; Concluding remarks.
Area Comparisons. Neptis Foundation, May 2003,
This report provides analyses of the 1995
data in the The Millennium Cities Database for Sustainable Transport
(Jeffrey Kenworthy and Felix Laube, Union internationale des
transports publics, Brussels, Belgium, 2001) that have particular
relevance to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 23 variables are examined
and conclusions drawn. Among the conclusions are that compared with other
North American urban regions the GTA has extreme values for 10 of the 23
variables and that compared with affluent urban regions worldwide, the
GTA has extreme values for five of the 23 variables. The extreme values
suggest, among other things, that GTA roads are unusually uncongested,
car occupancy in the GTA is unusually low, and car travel in the GTA is
unusually expensive. The extreme values could reflect reporting
Aspects of Public
Transport in London, Singapore, and Tokyo that illuminate Competition
Issues concerning Hong Kong’s Public Transport. In Lisa Hopkinson, ed,
Competition in Public
Transport, Civic Exchange, Hong Kong, 2003, pp. 32-49.
Introduction; Hong Kong; London; Singapore; Tokyo; Issues
of bus occupancy; Road charging and its impacts on public transport
operations; Desirability of competition in public transport; Hong Kong’s
place in the world of public transport; Answers to the questions;
Responses to issues raised at the February workshop; Acknowledgements;
Hong Kong is the model for
high density, Alternatives Journal, 29(3), 2003, 16.
This brief opinion piece explains why Hong
Kong may be the most sustainable of affluent cities, largely on account
of its extremely high settlement density.
Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 8. Centre for Sustainable
Transportation, April 2003, 13 pages.
The theme of this issue was
’Developing a medium-term strategy for Canada’s Transport’. A 16-page
French version is also available.
A medium-term strategy for Canada’s
transport; What was proposed to the workshops for the pre-Kyoto period;
What was proposed to the workshops for the post-Kyoto period; What was
concluded at the four workshops; Canada’s plan for meeting the Kyoto
commitment; Comparing Canada’s plan to the expectations from the
workshops; Discussion of the workshop results and subsequent events;
CST’s proposals for the medium term; The Centre for Sustainable
Transportation; Reference notes.
Lessons from Hong Kong: The Most Sustainable
Affluent City. March 2003.
This was an invited presentation at a
workshop entitled ‘Energy and Environment: Making Choices’ held by the
Royal Society of Canada at the University of British Columbia.
Sustainable Transportation Performance
Indicators (STPI), by Richard Gilbert, Neal Irwin, Brian
Hollingworth, and Pamela Blais. January 2003.
This paper was presented at the 82nd Annual
Conference of the Transportation Research Board held in Washington DC,
January 12-16. It described the STPI project, Phase 3 of which
had been completed at the end of 2002. (Phase 4 was not funded.)
Moving towards ideal measures of
sustainable transport. January 2003.
This was an invited presentation at
the 82nd Annual Conference of the Transportation Research Board held in
Washington DC, January 12-16, in a session entitled ‘New Ideas in
Sustainable Transportation Indicators’. It complemented the previous
item and set out a framework for developing ideal indicators.