How leading cities are responding to congestion (spoiler alert: not with freeways)
Willow Aliento | 7 June 2017
Cities are moving to active, sustainable transport systems in order to improve urban mobility, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC).
Urban Mobility – 10 cities leading the way in Asia-Pacific showcases some of the leading projects across the Asia-Pacific region in order to “inspire citizens, city leaders and professionals to develop solutions to their own cities’ challenges, being mindful of their unique resources, capabilities and needs”.
Sydney even makes it onto the list, and no, it’s not for WestConnex, rather the pedestrianisation of parts of George Street and the planned light rail.
Other cities showcased as best-practice examples of urban mobility solutions include Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Singapore; Suwon, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Bandung, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Yangon, Myanmar.
“Healthy practices lie at the heart of thriving cities,” ULI Singapore vice chair and AECOM vice president for Southeast Asia Scott Dunn said.
“The way we shape and connect our spaces can have far-reaching impacts on our communities and the 10 cities that we have studied in detail are either creating real social change or have the potential to create positive impact for millions of people.”
Initiatives implemented include Singapore’s incentive scheme for people to use public transport and personal mobility devices (PMDs) instead of cars. As a result, public transport now makes up 66 per cent of all peak hour commuter journeys, and PMDs have become fashionable.
As of last year, developers also need to submit a walking and cycling plan as part of any development application.
In Bandung, Indonesia, public transport accounts for only 20 per cent of journeys, and congestion on the streets of the Jalan Cihampelas shopping district poses both a challenge for traffic and a hazard for pedestrians.
The city responded by constructing an elevated 450-metre skywalk that opened in February this year. It connects the city’s zoo to the shopping district and almost 200 street vendors including food vendors have relocated from the streets to the pedestrian-only skywalk.
City planners are now looking to develop a Bandung Skywalk comprising a series of bridges and skywalks across the city. The plan focuses on promoting walking as the best option for mobility, by allowing people to traverse the city without having to cross intersections and confront busy traffic.
“These 10 cities face different challenges but they have one thing in common: they are all coming up with innovative ways to face the urban mobility challenges of today,” CLC director of research Limin Hee said.
“On top of altering established infrastructure, greater difficulty lies in changing urban cultures and mindsets.”