Richard Gilbert
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.



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 PDF or other 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 region.



Richard Gilbert, John Stephenson and Michael Wiggin, Heating and Cooling GTHA buildings in 2050, October 2021. PDF
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 2020. PDF
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.  September 2020. PDF
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, March 2017. PDF
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. PDF
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 facility.



What Toronto's big transit plans are forgetting, Globe and Mail online, September 11, 2014. PDF
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. PDF
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. PDF
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, May/June 2013. PDF
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 here through Amazon Kindle, where you can find the following description:
    "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 author."
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, PDF
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, PDF
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, PDF
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, PDF
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, PDF
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 revolutionize transportation.

Plenty of blame for city's rogue mayor. Toronto Star, November 28, 2012. PDF.
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 with friends.

What we missed in the global energy report. Globe and Mail online, November 21, 2012, PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 11, 2012. PDF.
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 2012. PDF.
This paper 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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 favourable.

What's missing from Ford's subway dream? A business plan. Globe and Mail online, February 23, 2012. PDF.
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. PDF.
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, PDF.

Why not print money? Globe and Mail online, August 10, 2011. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 Development:
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 box.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 about.

A new look at an old idea: Powering autos from the grid. Globe and Mail online, February 23, 2011. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 movement.

Cost of Transit City seems way out of line. Toronto Star, January 20, 2011. PDF.
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.


Grid connections, batteries, and on-board generation: sources for electric traction. Journal of Urban Technology 17(3), 53-66, 2010. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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] staff."

Hybrid cars: the high cost of saving fuel. Globe and Mail online, December 15, 2010. PDF.
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. PDF.
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). PDF.
The GTTC is "an organization of senior people involved in transportation in the Greater Toronto Area" ( 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 contest, Globe and Mail online, November 26, 2010. PDF.
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, 2010. PDF.
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 2010. PDF.
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 use.

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. PDF.
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. PDF.
I prepared this 11-page position paper for EMC's dealings with the federal government.

Why Eastern Canada needs a strategic oil plan, Globe and Mail online, October 18, 2010. PDF.
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, PDF.
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. PDF.
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 vulnerable.

Come Hell or High Oil Costs, The Mark, July 14, 2010, PDF.
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, July 2010. PDF.
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 debates.

New Transport Systems for the 21st Century, June 2010. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 9780970950062. PDF.
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 cities. Annual Report for 2009-2010 of St. Stephen's Community House. PDF.
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 This brief article touches on St. Stephen's goal of helping build a livable city that serves every resident.

Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap for Canada. PDF.
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. PDF.

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, All 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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 Climate meeting. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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.

Grid-connected systems for 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 v
ehicle 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. PDF.
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. PDF
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

Situational Analysis for the Current State of Electric Vehicle Technology, by Fleet Technology Partners and Richard Gilbert, June 2008, 32 pages. PDF
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 Steering Committee.

Transport revolutions – how to fuel transport once oil supplies dwindle, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. Energy World, No 360, May 2008, 10-11. PDF
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 available here.

Preparing transport for oil depletion: focus on China and the U.S. PDF
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, 2008. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
This mostly 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 of Canada.

To Incinerate or not to Incinerate, Alternatives Journal, 33 (2-3), 47-49. PDF
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.)

Grid-Connected Vehicles as the Core of Future Land-Based Transport Systems, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl. Energy Policy, 35, 3053-3060. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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. PDF.
This invited ‘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. PDF.
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 the summer.

Sweden has considered breaking its dependence on oil by 2020; Should Eastern Canada do this too, and how? November 2006. PDF.
This was a presentation at the 10th Annual Fall Conference of the Parkland Institute, University of Alberta, November 16-18. 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. November 2006. PDF.
This was the main presentation at the Annual General Meeting of Electric Mobility Canada/Mobilité électrique Canada, held in Toronto on November 9.

Avoiding Car Use. October 2006. PDF
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. PDF.
This newspaper 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. PDF.)

Plug-in Hybrids: the Cars of the Future? July 2006. PDF.
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. PDF.
This newspaper article, 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 Industry through Ecology. June 2006. PDF.
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. PDF.
I was the instructor for 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 Guidelines. PDF.
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. My 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,
76 pages.
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. PDF. 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. PDF.
This report was prepared for Ontario’s Social Housing Services Corporation.
The 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; Recommendations; Notes.

The Potential Impacts of Very High Fuel Prices on Canada’s Transport Systems and Cities. PDF.
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. April 2006. PDF.
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 Edmonton.

Peak oil and its consequences for urban communities like Hamilton. March 2006. PDF.
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 Peel’.

Globalisation, Transport, and the Environment.  January 2006, 57 pages. PDF.
This document was prepared for the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
SECTIONS: Introduction; Trends 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. December 2005, 45 pages. PDF.
This paper was prepared for the Centre for Sustainable Transportation and the Centre d’éxperimentation des véhicules électriques du Québec (CEVEQ).
SECTIONS: 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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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 NLSCY data.
SECTIONS: 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. PDF.
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. PDF.
This was a poster session paper given for Ontario’s Social Housing Services Corporation at the World Energy Engineering Congress held Austin, Texas.
SECTIONS: Abstract; Social housing in Ontario; Energy prices; Challenges posed by building stock; Data challenges; Meeting time-of-day challenges; References.

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 Transportation.
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. PDF
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.

Air Quality Inside Inter-City Buses. June 2005, 9 pages. PDF.
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 Univers
ity 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. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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.

Booklets on Children, Youth, and Transport, by Catherine O’Brien and Richard Gilbert. 26 pages in total. PDF.
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. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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 pages. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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. PDF.
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. Ekistics Journal, 71(427-429), 228-232. PDF
This 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.

Leisure Travel, Tourism Travel, and the Environment. October 2004, 24 pages. PDF.
This 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 here.)
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 2004. PDF.
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. October 2004. PDF.
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. PDF.
This 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; Conclusions; References.

Demonizing SUVs lets the real devils go free, Globe & Mail, September 16, 2004, PDF.
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. September 2004. 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.

Issue Exploration: Urban Transportation, by Richard Gilbert and Neal Irwin. July 2004, 48 pages. PDF.
Prepared for 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;
Introduction; Transport supply in urban areas, including trends; Transport demand in urban areas, including trends; Transport’s impacts; Challenges, barriers, and opportunities; Overview of selected governance and funding frameworks; Key transport stakeholders; Snapshots of research and related activities; Recommendations; Appendix A: Extracts from ‘Transit Means Business’; End Notes.

Sustainable Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 10. Centre for Sustainable Transportation, June 2004, 22 pages. PDF
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, PDF.
This was one of two overlapping invited presentations
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. June 2004. PDF.
This was the other presentation at the Windsor Workshop.

How 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. 221-235. PDF.
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 Richard Gilbert. In Transportation Revolutions: Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference, Canadian Transportation Research Forum, 2004, pp. 283-295. PDF.
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 short-listed.

Civil Aviation and Climate Policy: Status, Challenges, and Policies from a Trans-Atlantic Comparative Perspective, by Andreas Pastowski and Richard Gilbert. April 2004. PDF.
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 unpublished.

Soft Measures and Transport Behaviour. In Communicating Environmentally Sustainable Transport, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France, 2004, pp. 123-179. PDF.
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; Acceptability); 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.


Sustainable Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 9. Centre for Sustainable Transportation, December 2003, 11 pages. PDF.
The theme of this issue was ’Children and Transportation’. A 12-page French version is also available. PDF.
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; Reference notes.

Energy Options. November 2003. PDF.
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. PDF.

What Sustainable Transportation will mean for Conservation Authorities. November 2003. PDF.
This was an invited presentation made at the 10th Anniversary A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium held in Alliston, Ontario.

Sustainable Transportation Performance Indicators. September 2003. PDF.
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. PDF.
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
Summary; Introduction; Children’s Mobility Issues; European Kids on the Move; Available data on travel by children and youth  in Halton and Peel; Project objectives and process; Project results (Adapting the Kids on the Move manual; Awareness raising; Actions that could be taken); Discussion and 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); ; Going forward with Kids on the Move in Halton and Peel; Acknowledgements; Appendix A: Health impacts of transportation; Appendix B: Examples of Initiatives in Canada and Europe; Appendix C: Questionnaire; Appendix D: Scope of contacts; End Notes.

Let’s give the United Nations an Asian home, South China Morning Post, July 12, 2003. PDF.
This article in a Hong Kong newspaper argues that Hong Kong would be hard to resist as an alternative location for the UN headquarters.

Will the last one out …, Globe & Mail, May 22, 2003. PDF
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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.
SECTIONS: 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.

Greater Toronto Area Comparisons. Neptis Foundation, May 2003, 16 pages. PDF.
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 idiosyncrasies.

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. PDF.
SECTIONS: 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; End notes.

Hong Kong is the model for high density, Alternatives Journal, 29(3), 2003, 16. PDF.
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.

Sustainable Transportation Monitor, Issue No. 8. Centre for Sustainable Transportation, April 2003, 13 pages. PDF.
The theme of this issue was ’Developing a medium-term strategy for Canada’s Transport’. A 16-page French version is also available. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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. PDF.
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.