International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

Issues in the Developing World

Elgar original reference

Edited by H. S. Geyer

This important Handbook reveals that most urban growth takes place in the less developed world and much of it represents over-urbanization – that is, urbanization in which most migrants cannot effectively compete for employment, cannot find adequate shelter and do not have the means to feed themselves properly. Yet, compared to rural poverty, urban poverty is widely regarded as the lesser of the two evils.

Chapter 7: Transformation of Urban Public Transport Systems in the Global South

P. Wilkinson, A. Golub, R. Behrens, P Salazar Ferro and H Schalekamp

Subjects: development studies, development studies, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, urban studies


P. Wilkinson, A. Golub, R. Behrens, P. Salazar Ferro and H. Schalekamp Introduction Over the past four decades, heightened rates of urban–rural migration have exploded the sizes of urban centres of developing countries. Many developing country cities experience population growth rates above 6 per cent per annum, and it is expected that by 2030 the urban population of the developing world will roughly double to around four billion (Gwilliam, 2002). These high rates of growth place great pressures on public services and infrastructure to supply the growing populations with means to work, study, shop, and live. Dense urban cores, low incomes, and heavily concentrated employment, commerce and services make public transport systems essential elements of these urban areas. Lower-income and sprawling peripheral areas means that hundreds of millions of people endure long commutes on crowded trains and buses crawling through the typical morass of urban traffic congestion. At the same time, growing incomes and automobile ownership across the developing world have filled streets to their capacities, worsening urban mobility due to congestion and declining public transport levels of service (Gakenheimer, 1999). Vehicle ownership growth rates exceeding 10 per cent per annum are not uncommon (Gwilliam, 2002) and these growth rates are expected to remain high into the future. Figure 7.1 shows projected light duty vehicle ownership (excluding two-wheeled vehicles) in different regions around the world. In contrast with growing car ownership, urban infrastructure has not kept pace, leaving more and more automobile travellers in gridlock. Bangkok is a typical...

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