First of all, I would like to thank the participants in the Ideation Contest for their valuable input!
The winner of the Ideation Contest is topic number 3, namely: The role of cross sector integration in building a sustainable urban transport system.
In order to set stage for our eDiscussion please take a moment to read the below selection from the study Formulating an Urban Transport Policy – Choosing between Options (the study is available on the platform’s front page under “What’s New”) and then join the discussion in this thread where panelists from different fields provide online facilitation to answer your questions/comments.
The eDiscussion will kick off at 4pm EST on Tuesday, February 24th and go to 4pm EST the next Tuesday, March 3rd.
THE MULTIDIMENSIONALITY OF URBAN TRANSPORT
“Because cities are complex and multifaceted, urban mobility planning needs to be multidimensional. Though this approach is intricate, it is not difficult. It simply calls for more holistic thinking and comprehensive planning. In other words, construction of mass transit systems need to be backed up by complementary transit oriented development, the right kind of feeder systems, pricing signals that discourage personal motor vehicles, and public awareness campaigns. Further, transport infrastructure and services need to be provided in an integrated manner so that seamless travel—across different modes—becomes possible. They need to be affordable for the poor and at the same time be financially sustainable; they need to be designed to accommodate the needs of women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations.
Thus, they need to be universally accessible. Rarely is building facilities and adding to infrastructure capacity an adequate or durable response to the growing demands for mobility. It has to be complemented by several other interventions that simultaneously channel demand in a desired direction. Without this cohesion, additions in infrastructure capacity will not result in the desired outcomes.
The comprehensive and holistic planning approach requires a combination of supply-side and demand-side measures. It must consider land use planning, urban geography, environment, human behavior, local culture, economics, finance, public policy, political economy, governance, health, safety, gender, disability, affordability, livelihoods, communication, information technology (IT), and a host of other things. It is important to fully understand the links between the different dimensions in order to secure the best outcomes. Often the most obvious remedies are not the most appropriate ones. For example, the most obvious remedy for congestion is to create more road space; however, the benefits that are initially secured by easier travel are soon lost as more vehicles come on the road and congestion
The capacity to adequately deal with such a multidimensional subject is generally lacking in many cities—particularly, though not exclusively, those of the developing world. Very often, institutional structures are highly fragmented and not conducive to coordinated planning. Several agencies undertake initiatives, which then conflict and compete with each other, thus constraining the ability to secure the best out of any investment. Legal and administrative frameworks are not in place to handle this problem effectively. Further, policy makers and political leaders charged with the responsibility of dealing with the problem often lack transport or urban planning backgrounds. Sometimes they seek expert opinions, which at times conflict, leaving them confused and unsure of what to do.”
Looking forward to your comments, questions and evaluations. I will get back to you later on in the day when we will officially launch the eDiscussion!
Have a great day,