Full Title: Unlocking the Power of Urban Transport Systems for Better Growth and a Better Climate
Author(s): Xiao Zhao, Anjali Mahendra, Nick Godfrey, Holger Dalkmann, Philipp Rode, Graham Floater
Publisher(s): The New Climate Economy
Publication Date: February 1, 2016
Full Text: Download Resource
Sustainable transport systems are crucial for underpinning the economic performance and prosperity of nations. They are also critical for tackling global climate change and reducing local air pollution. This is particularly the case in the world’s urban areas.
The majority of transport trips take place in and between cities. Cities are growing at an unprecedented rate, particularly in the developing world: 1.4 million people are being added to urban areas each week, and by 2030, around 60% of the global population will live in cities. Cities are engines of economic growth and social change, with urban areas accounting for about 85% of global GDP.
The current shape of urban development contributes to the growth and use of private motorised transport. There are over 1.2 billion motorised vehicles in the world today, and the number is expected to double by 2030. Accounting for 23% of the global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2010, transport emissions could double by 2050, and are expected to increase more rapidly than any other energy end-use sector.3 The transport sector is also a major source of air pollutants, such as black carbon and nitrogen oxide. Emissions and air pollution from the transport sector are often concentrated in urban areas: urban travel currently constitutes more than 60% of all kilometres travelled globally, and this looks set to grow in the future.5 As a result, urban transport is currently the largest single source of global transport-related carbon emissions and the largest local source of urban air pollution. The economic and wider prosperity of cities, and hence countries, is therefore inextricably tied to the development of efficient transport systems and the interface with the spatial pattern of urban development.