Paying it Forward: Investing in Sustainable Mobility Recap

Event Highlights and Recap [PDF]

Speaker Presentations

Final Program

Mandates for more environmentally sustainable transportation systems have increased in recent years, but our systems of transportation finance have grown less predictable, and sustainable, than in decades past.  Yet planning intelligently for more efficient, effective, and equitable transportation systems will require more sustainable systems of transportation finance.  Accordingly, this link — between sustainable finance and sustainable outcomes — is the focus of the 2016 UCLA Lake Arrowhead Symposium from Sunday afternoon, October 16 through Tuesday morning, October 18, 2016.

Over the past quarter century, our transportation systems have become more variegated and complex, especially as they have become increasingly multimodal and linked to strategies for improving land use. At the same time, our methods for paying for building and sustaining transportation projects have also multiplied, but in more stochastic, project-focused ways antithetical to integrated systems approaches to transportation.  Stronger environmental mandates not only pit newer, greener projects against “legacy” ones that have waited years in the pipeline, but also encourage even more complex, multi-faceted, integrative strategies that further underscore the need for new financial means for building and sustaining them.

In addition, a growing cleft between short-term finance and long-term planning has created enormous challenges for public officials who seek to strategically manage land use, transportation systems, and environmental policy on behalf of the private firms and residents who are their customers.  Big-ticket, capital projects win both headlines and funding, while support and funds flag for existing systems’  operation and upkeep.  The shortage of funding for operations, and especially maintenance is a serious and growing problem that could have catastrophic consequences for future generations.

“Sustainable transportation” most often connotes projects like subways, strategies like carpooling, and modes like biking that collectively aim to reduce energy consumption, air pollution, and GHG emissions.  But sustainability is not confined to environmental objectives; it also rightly refers to transportation programs that are carefully planned, appropriately priced, and stably financed on an ongoing basis. By this expanded definition, sustainable transportation includes strategies for improving how and where projects are funded, increasing the efficiency of existing systems, and managing resources so as to defer neither environmental nor economic problems to future generations.

Over the course of two and a half days, attendees at the 26th Annual Arrowhead Symposium will learn:

  • Current trends and innovations in transportation finance, with a focus on pricing and finance to reduce the environmental footprint of the transport sector.
  • The latest tools and techniques for using pricing and other financial incentives to increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental externalities of
  • Fiscal policies and strategies to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
  • The performance of current transportation infrastructure investments from a life-cycle perspective.
  • Ways in which current transportation system performance measurements can be better aligned with sustainability goals.
  • Opportunities to leverage private investments in transportation, and how these can be  structured to further sustainability objectives.
  • How new technology, data, and analytics can be used to identify areas of greatest need and improve the cost-effective allocation of resources.
  • Strategies for collaboration among local governments and other public and private partners to fund and manage increasingly complex, multi-modal transportation networks.

Each fall the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Symposium brings together a diverse and intimate group of influential policy-makers, private sector stakeholders, public sector analysts, consultants, advocates, and researchers to take a deep dive into a pressing public policy challenge related to the transportation – land use – environment connection.  The intimate retreat setting allows participants to learn, discuss, and debate both the latest research and most innovative new practices from around California, and around the globe, to bring back to their organizations.