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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems Innovation: A Student Design Project on Mobility in the Post-Automobile Era

EPA Grant Number: SU832508
Title: Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems Innovation: A Student Design Project on Mobility in the Post-Automobile Era
Investigators: Cohen, Maurie
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 30, 2005 through May 30, 2006
Project Amount: $9,891
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005)
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


The emergent field of industrial ecology (IE) has been described as the "science and engineering of sustainability" and the "technological core of sustainability." Some proponents of IE draw on metaphors from systems ecology and suggest that a design revolution is necessary to stem the production of harmful byproducts at their source and to significantly transform the contemporary system of production and consumption. Because of the scope and scale of its impacts, especially in terms of energy use and landscape appropriation over the past decade, industrial ecologists have devoted a great deal of attention to developing a systems view of automobility. The proposed project assembles a group of graduate students in environmental policy (and related areas) to plan for sustainable mobility futures 25-50 years from now. Students will use management scanning techniques to assess: the findings of recent sustainable mobility research; the role of alternative fuel vehicles in launching a system redesign revolution; the integration of communication and transportation technologies; the emergence of virtual accessibility and mobility technologies; the future of telecommuting and other alternative work arrangements; the sustainability challenges facing several key industrial sectors; and the strategic planning presently taking place in the automobile industry and elsewhere for a post-automobile era. The end product of this initiative will be a series of scenarios envisioning possible mobility futures that may evolve over the next several decades as sustainability becomes more embedded within public consciousness and planning practices.

Supplemental Keywords:

alternatives, sustainable development, clean technologies, innovative technology, sociological, foresight, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Chemicals Management, Environmental Engineering, waste to fuel conversion, energy conservation, alternative to petroleum diesel fuel, renewable fuel production, emission controls, industrial ecology, sustainable transportation, alternative fuel vehicles, transportation technology, biotechnology, energy efficiency, ethanol, alternative fuel, biodiesel fuel, alternative energy source, environmentally benign alternative, biofuel, green chemistry, renewable energy

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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