Urban Transport Challenges Author:
The Risks of Rapid and Unplanned Urbanization in Developing Countries The world is experiencing a historically unprecedented transition from predominantly rural to urban living.
The proximity and diversity of people can spark innovation and create employment as exchanging ideas breeds new ideas. The diversity of cities can also inculcate social tolerance and provide opportunities for civic engagement.
One of the main factors driving rapid urbanization in emerging economies is rural-urban migration motivated by the prospect of greater employment opportunities and the hope of a better life in cities. Indeed, when a certain critical mass of population is reached, it is economically viable to deliver many infrastructure projects, such as public transportation.
However, a higher population density also creates negative externalities, especially when urbanization is rapid, poorly-planned and occurs in a context of widespread poverty. In addition, cities are points of convergence of many risks, which make them particularly vulnerable to chain reactions and amplify the interconnection between global risks.
Better knowledge of how such risks interconnect in their materialization at the city level is the first step towards helping cities build resilience. Three regions — South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean — have identified this risk as among those for which they are the least prepared Figure 1.
Indeed, the availability and quality of infrastructure are at the core of many of the challenges faced by rapidly urbanizing cities in developing countries, which are developed further in this section of the report. As cities in developing countries are expanding rapidly, it is likely that infrastructure will not be able to keep pace with their growth nor the increased expectations of their populations.
Action to close the infrastructure gap is urgently needed and will strongly influence the potential of risks to have catastrophic cascading effects. Where will the money come from? Most governments are under tight budget constraints and many developing countries already spend a large proportion of their national income to meet the basic needs of their population.
However, to promote successful public-private collaboration, corruption must be tackled, as it is a traditional problem in construction projects and dissuades investors.
In addition, the key enablers of public-private collaboration at the city level include factors such as transparency in such matters as partner selection and contract execution and the availability of accurate data to allow risk assessments.
Public-private collaboration is a way for cities to identify where cooperation can address problems that neither municipalities nor the private sector can solve alone for example in advanced telecommunications infrastructure and both will have a major role to play.
Much discussion revolves around the potential for technology to increase the efficiency with which urban infrastructure can be managed. The use of big data, the Internet of Things and ubiquitous smartphones promise to revolutionize aspects of city management, from keeping traffic flowing to reducing electricity outages, tackling crime and preparing for emergencies.
Developing countries have the opportunity to leapfrog by avoiding the mistakes made by more advanced countries and applying the lessons learned from the development of smart city infrastructure.
Indeed, if technology developed for smart cities does not embrace universal design to ensure use by all including the disabled and the elderlyits benefits could be controversial.
Cities and Health In most countries, the health of city dwellers has improved through better access to education and healthcare, better living conditions and targeted public-health interventions. Hitting rock bottom due to a public health disaster init introduced measures to drastically raise hygienic standards, making it one of the cleanest cities in India today.
Almost million urban dwellers currently lack adequate sanitation. In addition to communicable diseases, rapid and unplanned urbanization is a key driver in the increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases NCDs and their key risk factors, such as unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, tobacco consumption, harmful use of alcohol and pollution.
These diseases affect high- middle- and low-income countries.
Addressing non-communicable diseases will require efforts to tackle the causes of air pollution, which is estimated to have caused 7 million deaths in Cities and Climate Change In many developing countries, migration from rural areas to cities is at least partially driven by the increasing prevalence of extreme weather, such as land degradation and desertification, making agriculture more difficult.
For example, many people are migrating from dry land areas in north-east Brazil to favelas in Rio de Janeiro. For example, cities tend to be located near the sea or natural waterways, where they are more at risk of flooding. The effects of shortfalls are likely to be felt mostly by the poor, whose informal settlements tend to be on land at especially high risk from extreme weather.
Cities not only need to adapt to climate change, they also have a major role to play in mitigating its impact. While established cities with efficient mass transit systems have relatively low carbon footprints, the early phases of urbanization tend to generate massive greenhouse gas emissions as the construction of infrastructure uses concrete and metals that are carbon-intensive to manufacture.
With adequate land-use planning and in coordination with the private sector, cities can develop infrastructure in more sustainable, low-carbon ways — but this requires governance, technical, financial and institutional capacities that are often lacking in developing countries.
In addition, most future growth will be generated by midsized cities and not by megacities, as is commonly believed. However, even when cities are successful, the process of absorbing migrants into urban economies is not necessarily smooth.
While moving to a city offers individuals more opportunities to improve their living conditions, the high cost of living and competition for livelihoods can also trap people in poverty.
It is the rapid and unplanned nature of urbanization, rather than urbanization itself, that is linked by many researchers to such risks as urban violence and social unrest.
Widening inequalities also tend to be more starkly visible in urban than rural areas, with the most wealthy areas of cities often neighbouring quickly-expanding slums.
The combination of inequality, competition over scarce resources such as land, impunity from the law and weak city governance increases the risk of violence and potential breakdowns in law and order.
Some cities in developing countries are already extremely dangerous, such as for example San Pedro Sula in Honduras, with killings perresidents in The shortage of affordable housing not only contributes to social exclusion, it can also threaten to destabilize the wider economy if the housing price increase fuels property bubbles.
Making housing more accessible, affordable and adequate for urban dwellers is therefore of critical importance. A wide portfolio of policies, from limiting excessive credit to optimizing land use and development activity in cities, is crucial to mitigate these risks and equitably distribute the benefits of urban growth.Industry Trends: Infrastructure URBANIZATION: A MAJOR DRIVER OF INFRASTRUCTURE these challenges, the infrastructure sectors — water, transport, energy and information and facing infrastructure companies and public administrations, but looks a few years ahead.
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Nov 12, · One of the most important responsibilities of local government is maintaining and improving infrastructure – transportation, water/sewer, .
City: City, relatively permanent and highly organized centre of population, of greater size or importance than a town or village. The name city is given to certain urban communities by virtue of some legal or conventional distinction that can vary between regions or nations.
In most cases, however, the. Public transport inadequacy. Many public transit systems, or parts of them, are either over or under used. During peak hours, crowdedness creates discomfort for users as the system copes with a temporary surge in demand.
Improvement of public transport infrastructure does not only shape the cities, but decrease traffic congestion and avoid private vehicle dependency. For instance, investment on metros, railways, rapid bus stations as a public transport infrastructure (Newman, ).