On the road without a map: why we need an “ethic of road ecology”

Moore, L.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-3562-8709, Arietta, A.Z.A., Spencer, D.T., Huijser, M.P., Walder, B.L. and Abra, F.D., 2021. On the road without a map: why we need an “ethic of road ecology”. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9: 774286. ISSN 2296-701X

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Over the past two decades, our knowledge of the ecological impacts of roads has increased rapidly. It is now clear that the environmental effects of transportation infrastructure are inextricable from transportation benefits to economic, social, and cultural values. Despite the necessity of optimizing these multiple values, road planners, scientists, and practitioners have no established methodology or pluralistic approach to address growing ethical complexities. We articulate five ethical issues that could be addressed by developing an ethic of road ecology in order to facilitate the identification, reasoning, and harmonization of ethical dimensions of road planning and development. This inquiry into road ecology can draw lessons from existing applied ethics, such as in ecological restoration and urban planning, to build a narrative that is informed by both science and ethics. We illustrate five ethical issues presented through case studies that elaborate on the motivations, responsibilities, and duties that should be considered in ethically and scientifically complicated road building decisions. To address these issues, we encourage the development of a code of ethics, dedicated intellectual forums, and practical guidance to assist road planners, and more broadly transportation practitioners, to resolve complex ethical quandaries systematically. We hope this perspective encourages conversation for a holistic yet pragmatic approach to this applied ethics problem, while also assisting responsible parties as they navigate difficult moral terrain.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Creators: Moore, L.J., Arietta, A.Z.A., Spencer, D.T., Huijser, M.P., Walder, B.L. and Abra, F.D.
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Date: 16 November 2021
Volume: 9
ISSN: 2296-701X
Rights: Copyright © 2021 Moore, Arietta, Spencer, Huijser, Walder and Abra. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 29 Nov 2021 12:29
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2021 12:29
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44983

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