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."


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.



Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...


Latest News

Mehbooba Mufti calls NIA 'pet agency' of BJP

Peoples Democratic Party PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that the National Investigation Agency NIA has become BJPs pet agency to intimidate and browbeat those who refuse to fall in line.Her remark came after the National Investi...

AMD to buy chip peer Xilinx for $35 billion in data center push

Semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD said on Tuesday it would buy Xilinx Inc in a 35 billion all-stock deal, intensifying its battle with Intel Corp in the data center chip market. The deal, which AMD expects to close at th...

Pompeo says China has brought bad deals and lawlessness to Sri Lanka

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the Chinese Communist Party was operating as a predator in Sri Lanka, as the top U.S. diplomat kept up tough criticism of China on a tour of Asia. Pompeo arrived in Sri Lanka from India ...

COVID-19: All schools in Delhi will continue to remain closed till further orders, says Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

COVID-19 All schools in Delhi will continue to remain closed till further orders, says Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia....

Give Feedback