City transport in the new century

City transport in the new century


Transport can have and must have an instrumental role in achieving sustainable development. The city is the most sustainable urban form and it has to be the location where most (70–80 per cent) of the world’s population will live. The key parameters of the city are that it should have over 25,000 population (preferably over 50,000), with medium densities (over 40 persons per hectare), with mixed use developments, and with preference given to developments in public transport accessible corridors and near to highly accessible public transport interchanges.

The vision of the sustainable city

Such developments conform to the requirements of service and information-based economies. Settlements of this scale would also be linked together to form agglomerations of polycentric cities, with clear hierarchies that would allow a close proximity of everyday facilities and accessibility to higher order activities. Such urban form would keep average trip lengths below the thresholds required for maximum use of the walk and cycle modes. It would also permit high levels of innovative services and public transport priority, so that the need to use the car would be minimized. Through the combination of clear planning strategies, cities would be designed at the personal scale to allow both high quality accessibility and a high quality environment.

In transport terms, this is the vision of the sustainable city. The intention is not to prohibit the use of the car as this would be both diffi cult to achieve and seen as being against notions of freedom and choice. The intention is to design cities of such quality and at a suitable scale that people would not need to have a car and would choose to live in a car free location. The measures available to bring about such a change are well known, but they have not really been explored to their full potential, either individually or collectively in packages.


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