In November 2004, the Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) charged MVA with investigating the strategies being implemented to manage traffic growth and congestion in a sample of cities. This report covers the 'world cities' and other large comparators, namely: Barcelona; London; Moscow; Madrid; New York; Paris; Singapore; and Tokyo. The research has been undertaken in three phases comprising a desk study of available documentation, case studies based on interviews with relevant authorities in the cities and an analysis of the impacts of transport strategies. Statistical evidence is limited and the key outcomes have been changes in car modal share, public transport patronage, and traffic levels and speed as proxy measures of congestion. The work has shown that national economies depend on the contribution of large cities, and while there have been fluctuations associated with world or local events, the city economies have remained strong. Economic development has driven population growth and the resulting competition for land has given rise to a process of suburbanisation that started at different times, but has occurred in all the cities and continues to the present. The increasing need to travel from lower density suburbs to more centralised employment areas or edge of town commercial centres, coupled with increasing household wealth and rising car ownership has fuelled growth in mobility. Some of this increase has come from higher trip rates, but the main contributor has been the increase in distances travelled. Cities that have sprawled more, or gone further in allowing the separation of people and jobs, now have the longest average journey lengths. The challenge facing all cities has been how to accommodate this growth in travel demand which is becoming increasingly disparate and more difficult to meet with cost-effective public transport. There is some commonality in the policies that have been implemented. All of the cities have adopted a combination of highway investment (typically ring roads to reduce through traffic in city centres) and public transport improvements. Some have also sought to radically improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the hope that this will attract short-distance car users. None of the cities has harnessed the full potential of land use policies to contain low-density sprawl, ensure a mix of development types to reduce the need to travel, or increase public transport patronage through transit-oriented development. Greater progress has been made in Barcelona, Singapore and Tokyo where new lines are generally keeping pace with development, and it is these cities that have the lowest reliance on public sector subsidy.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 95 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00988806
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: C33991
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2005 12:00AM