Transport is at the heart of development of world cities, as the advantages in carrying out economic activities in proximity (often called “economies of agglomeration”) justify the very existence of cities. Transport is the means to achieving this proximity and increasing the extent to which a city’s activities are easily linked to each other, and therefore, in a world of many competing cities, those with more efficient transport systems have an advantage.
However, providing an efficient transport system in a city to enable the smooth mobility of people and goods does not come without a cost. In many cities today the existing transport infrastructure cannot cope with the steadily increasing demand, and the continuous rise of urban population has rendered many transport systems obsolete, which affects not only the economic aspects of city life but also the quality of life of the residents.
World cities today face a number of problems, which result from their objective of providing efficient transport while at the same time ensuring sustainability and a high standard of living. These include congestion, car dependence, pollution, land use, safety, economic prosperity, as well as political issues, and given that these are all naturally interrelated, the isolated treatment of a single problem without consideration to the others gives rise to additional complexity. A holistic approach is, therefore, required for tackling the transport problems and challenges of world cities.
The development of methodologies and tools to address the transport problems of world cities with simultaneous consideration of all the problem areas is the aim of the WC2 Transport club. Subject areas of focus include: