Population growth presents new opportunities and challenges for city planners especially when it comes to transportation. Sue Tabbitt highlights the technologies that are building more resilient and sustainable urban transport systems.
By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban settings, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This poses some significant challenges for local authorities and city planners, as they strive to balance a good, safe quality of life for local inhabitants and commuters with carbon reduction targets and available funding.
It is becoming increasingly clear that technology offers a big part of the solution – especially where this supports smarter and more coordinated means of managing infrastructure and its capacity, and when it enables advantageous collaborations between the multiple infrastructure and service providers as well as public-private partnerships across an urban region.
Attracting more people to cities and their expanding suburbs may be good for local economies, and for concentrating investment where it will deliver a maximum return, but unless forward planning proactively caters for swelling populations – without degradation to people’s quality of life, convenience, and personal safety – an urbanized future could introduce as many problems as it solves.