Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Commuting is the practice of traveling between one's home and one's place of work. In this respect, it is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, it is also one that causes considerable environmental problems, as a large volume of traffic is generated at peak times by this activity. Because commuting increasingly involves the use of cars, it is considered one of our least sustainable practices. In fact, it has been calculated that just one U.S. citizen's average commuting practices represent the equivalent of half the total environmental footprint of the average citizen of India. The solution is often sought in more intensive use of cars through high-occupancy vehicle lanes or carpooling, as well as mass transit or more benign private modes, such as walking and cycling. Such options enable more commuters to be accommodated in the same amount of urban space. Changes in the built environment, particularly denser urban environments, have ...