Historians - and not only in Italy - have begun only in recent years to address in detail the environmental problems caused by transport. In recent years we have seen an attempt at creating a new interdisciplinary study sector (environmental mobility studies) with the aim of studying, from the environmental point of view, the many topics concerning mobility. This article aims at putting forward a brief survey of the development of transport in Italy (taking into consideration the time span between the end of the Second World War and the early part of the 21st century) with a perspective which stands between environmental history and environmental mobility studies. The chief objective of this paper is to analyze, and possibly assess the environmental impact of transport, utilizing indicators referring to the driving forces (extension of infrastructures, traffic volume) to environmental pressures (emissions of carbon dioxide, PM10, NOx, waste production per worker) and to environmental impacts (energy resources consumption). In particular, in the article the author uses the notion of virtual water, an easily applicable indicator for industrial production (it does not require the necessary complex calculations, used for example to assess the ecological footprint) useful for quantifying the environmental impact caused by the production and utilization of means of transport.
Keywords: Environmental history, Sustainable mobility, Virtual water
Jel Code: N70, Q55, R41