More or 4 times bigger (Robert Cervero, 2013). Urban

More than half of the world’s
population lives in the city. This number is even increasing in rapid tempo. In
these big urban areas every individual has the needs to travel and move through
the city on a daily basis. About 8 billion trips are made every day. Almost
half of these movements are by private motorized vehicles. In 2050, this will
even be 3 or 4 times bigger (Robert
Cervero, 2013). Urban transport is of great importance for the social and
economic activities in the city. In the Global South the pressures on urban
transport systems are rising as part of this growth (The World Bank, 2002). The pressure on fossil fuel use and with
that the pressures on climate change are also increasing. Therefore there is an
increasing demand for solutions for a sustainable and efficient urban transport
system. Cities in the Global North, but especially cities in the Global South, who
are growing much harder than cities in the Global North, will have to deal with
difficult and complex mobility issues. A sustainable transport system is
important for both economic developments and social accessibility (for its
urban residents).

 

The reason for choosing this subject
is the awareness of the complexity of this topic that has occurs throughout the
course Globalising Worlds. Some
people state that transport or mobility is an essential human right. But with
that, we cannot lose sight of the increasing climate pollution of mankind. This
essay will argue for the right balance between the increasing pressure on
climate, as a result of urban transport, and the social (and economic) mobility
of urban residents. At first, we will
look at the concept of Transportation. Then we will look into the issues
regarding transport and (urban) environment in the Global South. At the end of
this essay a conclusion will be described.

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The method that is used in this
essay is an academic literature review. A presumptive analysis of scientific articles
will be described concerning the balance of a socio-economic mobility systems
and sustainability. In the Globalising Worlds course came to light that transportation
problems is part of a more comprehensive mobility issue. That insight is used in
this essay.

 

Jean-Paul Rodrigue describes
transportation in three broad categories; collective, individual and freight
transportation. In several occasions these categories are complementary to one
another, but sometimes they can be very competing for individual passengers,
the usage of available land and transport infrastructure (2017). Every specific urban activity has several movements linked to itself. Also, every
movement to an activity is linked to a specific socio-economic land use. The
linkage between movements, urban activities and land use is complex, but is
related by factors such as income, urban form, spatial
accumulation, level of development and technology. Urban transport is very important for the
socio-economic mobility for urban residents. Variations in mobility are caused
by differences in age, income, gender and disability (Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2017). To improve the mobility of various
groups perceived as disadvantaged, policymakers will need to focus on making several
urban activities more accessible. 

In the Global North we have seen
trends as urbanization and suburbanization which resulted in a more automobile
focused urban transport system. Due to the fact that it became more common to
have access to motorized vehicles the urban landscape adapted more to this
particular system. In the last few decades we have seen a similar tendency in
the Global South. For example, urbanization in Asia has been rapid for the past
30 years. Also, the middle class in the South is growing strong which corresponds
with the  developments we have seen in
the Global North. In China we see an growth of the “vehicle population” with
228% from 2007 until 2016 (The Statistics
Portal, 2016). This is especially due to an increasing middle class (bron). These developments contributed
significantly to economic activities in this part of the world. On the other
hand, large urban populations are causing more transport related problems. In
many developing Asian cities we see problems like congestion, accidents, public
transport decline, and lack of accessibility for the urban poor (Dorina Pojani and Dominic Stead, 2015). Also
the gas and noise that is produced by automobiles have become a major source of
pollution in mid-sized and large cities in the Global South. These problems
mostly exist because of inadequate transport infrastructures, planning and
management. In turn these problems have an crucial economic and environmental
impact on society (A. Morita et al.,
2004).  Peter O’Neill endorses these problems and gives a list of
institutional shortcoming in the Global South. Lack of essential technical
skills in urban transport planning, fragmented institutional arrangement
without effective coordination, lack of hierarchical highway, road and street
systems and no or poor regulation of public transport services are some of the
examples he gives (Worldbank
presentation). Cities in the Global South have the opportunity to not only
address these institutional shortcomings, but along with that promote
sustainable (green) urban transport systems. To develop some sustainable
solutions, Todd Goldman and Roger Gorham
compared four innovative clusters of sustainable solutions for building up sustainable
urban transport. They state that different sustainable strategies can be
classified in four clusters; New
Mobility, City Logistics, Intelligent System Management, and Livability (2006). Each cluster has it’s own perspective of the system, acknowledging
the interaction between transportation and other social and economic systems,
or by adopting a more comprehensive view of the transportation system itself.

 

The New Mobility cluster addresses the
daily activities of individuals. It pursues the understanding and influencing
of the full pattern of economic and psychological factors that shape the
choices and decisions of people who own a vehicle. The New Mobility strategy
provides new technologies or business models that sets up alternatives to the
private automobile creating more flexible, convenient and integrated travel
options. voorbeelden? 

City Logistics cluster focuses on
urban freight traffic. With a growing middle class in the South and a rapid
growing E-commerce, urban freight traffic is growing fast. Pressures for
deliveries and supply are increasing because of in-time deliveries or
inadequate patterns of trade. Ensuring a sustainable urban freight transport
system, policymakers should try to set up centralized urban distribution and
logistic centers as well as neighborhood drop-off points reducing the amount of
movements in the city.

The Intelligent system management cluster
introduces a new pricing and system management techniques. The goal is to
achieve greater environmental and economic efficiencies. Examples for practical
policies are congestion charging and a broad bus system management. The mayor
of Mexico City is undertaking serious actions to a more comprehensive strategy
of mobility in his city. He used strategy’s such as a compulsory school bus
transportation, new ordinances for trucks, and the intensifying of public
transport use  (Megacities; 13. Mexico City: Power, Equity, and Sustainable
Development)

In the livability cluster focuses
directly on  the relationship between the
transportation system to society. It addresses important issues like accessibility,
the allocation and design of public space, opportunities for social engagement
and recreation, and the overall health and economic welfare of city residents. The
social and economic vitality of the city declines with hyper-motorization. Urban
(private) automobile transport should be allowed, but without privileging it
over other uses of public space. An example of a Southern city that focuses on
strategies around livability and social equity is Bogota in Colombia. Bogota
closes many of its roadways on Sundays to motorized vehicles. It also began to
develop a permanent street system exclusively for the use of bicycles and
pedestrians.

 

Todd Goldman and Roger Gorham do not intend to claim these clusters to be a complete
classification of sustainability policies since there is considerable overlap
among the four clusters they propose. But, it gives a potential outline of
visions or models of sustainable urban transport. Key elements in their
findings were that the four approaches share a number of familiar elements that
will be of great importance for their success (2006).

Leadership from political figures is
also key to develop sustainable transport systems. They need to come up with
innovative solutions and not lose sight of the long term. As mentioned earlier,
the mayor of Mexico City is an example of strong progressive leadership. His environmental
green plan (Plan Verde), which has
the ultimate goal to “humanize the city”, included the construction of 94 km of
cycling routes and 240 km of rapid transit bus routes, privileging the public
transport within a strategy of urban mobility (Megacities; 13. Mexico City: Power, Equity, and Sustainable
Development).  He is pursuing a more
livable city by creating more flexible,
convenient and integrated travel options as well as producing alternatives for
the private automobile transport. Also, setting up new ordinances for trucks
and privileging alternative travel options instead of automobiles, he is altering
the current polluting urban transport system. By means of this his plan can be
explained within the four clusters of Goldman and Gorham.