Left Menu
Development News Edition

Spiralling traffic could jam economic progress in fast-growing cities

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 23-05-2019 21:26 IST | Created: 23-05-2019 20:15 IST
Spiralling traffic could jam economic progress in fast-growing cities
Image Credit: Wikipedia

A study published by the World Resources Institute, a global research organisation on Thursday found spiralling traffic and poor urban planning could rob developing countries of opportunities and jam economic progress in fast-growing cities. As more people flock to cities, congested roads, expensive commutes and a lack of reliable transport options are disrupting urban economies and affecting the quality of life, the report said. "Cities need to shift from a primary focus on moving traffic faster and accommodating more vehicles to prioritising access for all," said Anjali Mahendra, the report's co-author.

"This demands much stronger integration between transport planning agencies and land developers." The report found 56% of people in Mexico City were under-served in terms of their ability to reach job locations, against 42% of residents in Johannesburg. "Everyone is affected by it (traffic) in some way," said Alina Rocha Menocal, a senior research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, a global think tank. "We all confront this challenge of having to get somewhere and being stranded," she said. "Whether you're in a comfortable car or on the back of a bus."

GRIDLOCK

Traffic is a "chronic" problem in many developing cities, said Menocal, with economic growth often prioritised above planning and the fallout most heavily felt by poor communities. With urban areas set to suck in 55% of the planet's population - a figure the United Nations says will rise to 68% by 2050 - cities are seeking new ways to cope with modern-day pressures, from rising migration to creaking infrastructure. On Thursday, ministers responsible for transport from 60 countries were set to launch a declaration at the International Transport Forum promoting connectivity and social inclusion.

"Safe, secure, economically efficient, and well connected transport plays an important role in facilitating individual mobility and trade flows, both of which are essential for the sustainable development of regions," the declaration said. But according to Menocal, a new mindset is just as vital to improve congestion and the quality of life in cities.

"In Mexico city, car ownership is an extremely valued asset because it also has class connotations," she said, while politicians must equally shun the "quick wins" of building a new road and instead focus on improving underlying traffic systems. Nearly 1 billion people lack adequate road networks, which hinders their access to basic services and can deepen social inequities, according to the United Nations.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Public health care post-COVID 19 to go for revamping, not rebooting

Until now, the economies used to classify healthcare sector under social expenditure. However, the devastation caused by COVID 19 pandemic has upgraded public healthcare on topmost priority and core economic activity for controlling future ...

Coronavirus lockdowns to speed up long-pending revamping of supply chains

With millions of production lines impacted, business disruptions to some extent are unavoidable and the lessons learned from this turbulence will leave an everlasting impact on both global and local levels of supply chains....

COVID 19 to catalyze the redefinition of urban planning and sustainability

Until now the urban planning was focused on mitigation to natural disastrous, climate change, pollution, chronic illness and lifestyle diseases. However, the global pandemic of novel coronavirus is going to change the whole narrative of urb...

Ebola to COVID 19: Has Geopolitics prevailed over Professionalism in WHO

World Health Organization WHO is perceived as one of the most professional bodies of the United Nations. However, the role of WHO has come under question in handling outbreak two deadly diseases Ebola Viral Disease EVD and novel Coronaviru...

Videos

Latest News

UK companies were worried about outlook even before lockdown -CBI

British companies in key sectors were already bracing for the biggest hit to business since 2009 even before last weeks shutdown of the much of the economy as the government moved to slow the spread of coronavirus, an employers group said.S...

Airbnb hosts to provide free rooms for British health workers

Airbnb hosts will provide free rooms for workers in Britains National Health Service NHS to support their work during the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Sunday.Nearly 1,500 places to stay have been made available under the scheme...

Trump decides against quarantine for New York region

US President Donald Trump decided late Saturday against imposing a broad lockdown on New York and its neighbours after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could sparkA quarantine will not be necessary...

At home with coronavirus, UK's Johnson writes to the nation

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating at 10 Downing Street after testing positive for coronavirus, will write to every UK household to urge people to stay at home.Johnson, who has described his symptoms as mild, is lea...

Give Feedback