Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
Chapter 1: Introduction to transport and urban planning in the developed world
Cities are fascinating in many aspects. They grow in an oddly structured or organic fashion over time and are sometimes compared to living organisms in which different parts of a city perform different functions. Cities are of great economic importance as they provide employment and residence to large communities. The past decades have seen very strong urbanization in which many people have moved from rural areas to urban areas. According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas and this is expected to grow. All cities adjust their form and organization in response to changes in population, politics and fortunes. This is not expected to change. What is different it that as population increases so do demands for energy, transport, liveability and efficient infrastructure. These new stressors on cities require effective transport and urban strategies to keep cities functioning well. The interconnectivity of people, trade and traffic across cities means that underperformance and inefficiencies in the transport system can result in delays, congestion, and deepen social and economic divides – transforming cities quickly into a state of malfunction. With good transport and urban planning, cities can be made (and kept) efficient and pleasant to live and work in. This book provides an overview of relevant theories and concepts regarding transport and urban planning in the developed world.