The developed countries are nowadays facing a rapid outrage in the transportation crises, which in itself is the ultimate result of the rapid growth in urbanization and a standing mismatch that arises between the needs related to the mobility of the people and the infrastructural supply of the transportation.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

The unsustainable growth in the economy around the countries and the motorization is a related factor to it puts the strain on the environment, which in turn results as a reason for the social conflict, global warming, and poverty as a counter effect. A city acting as an urban hub acts as an attractive alternative for the people out of its reach for a sustained life. The urban sprawl thus became a factor of an increase in pressure with existing dependencies on the motorized means.

A sustainable approach to transit planning in cities - Sheet1
Traffic congestions ©WorldBankBlogs

As per the traditional approaches, large blocks of uniform land-use results in the increase in traffic congestion, having a single predominantly central business district results in the increase in lengths of trips being a reason for the uplifts in pollution. Also, the hierarchy of roads with a low level of permeability and the huge expenses of highways built for speed causes the road fatalities and disconnected disenchanted lifestyles. The traditional approach of transportation planning being outdated for the present world, has certain dynamic complexities that now need to be addressed in a sustained evolution in policies and structural planning for a sustainable environment.

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers

“Sustainable transportation” or the concept of transit-oriented planning calls for a more holistic approach to get a sensible mix of land-uses that seeks to transit the cities towards sustainable mobilities.

The transit planning approach fulfills and promotes a balance between transportation’s economic and social benefits. In further articulating, the transit approach works on the A-S-I scheme that allows the individuals to meet their needs in a consistent manner with equity within generations. The idea is to make it efficiently affordable with the choices of transport to support the vibrancy in economies.

A sustainable approach to transit planning in cities - Sheet2
Avoid-Shift-Improve-Approach ©StreetsBlog

The A-S-I approach focuses on avoiding the not needed travels, shifting the shares from the private motorized traffic means to the non-motorized systems of transportation thus, improving the efficiency of the modes of transportation from 30% of the total energy consumption being made in the traditional approaches.

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers

Within the context of transportation planning, the term “sustainable” can also refer to a plan itself – whether its objectives are achievable in view of the various financial, political, and technical factors that will ultimately influence its success.


Singapore ©McKinsey&Company

Singapore is ranked among the top cities for the public transport system to have the safest sustainable ecological environment in the world. As it continues to evolve, the population of the city grows. The government improves the existing transportation network by increasing the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) systems, inclusive road planning with the cycle paths, and the sharing taxis system.

Singapore infrastructure ©McKinsey & Company


Paris ©McKinsey&Company

Paris, being the city famous for public transportation has the most developed transportation network. The transit system there focuses on the bicycle centric paths. Ensuring a sufficient infrastructure for non-motorized transport, Paris has already developed by creating more car-free zones and promoting public transportation. With the focus being mainly on the safety of the public means the city ensures the prevention of road accidents.

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers
Paris infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


HONG-KONG - Sheet1
Hong Kong ©McKinsey & Company

One of the Asian financial centers and the most populated cities around the world, Hong-Kong attracts daily commuters. For its 7.4 million residents and approximately 58 million visitors annually, the city plans to ensure the safety of the transportation network. It manages well and ensures best-in-class public and private transportation. Presently, Hong Kong is continuously working on expanding the transport network, easing congestion, and managing sustainability issues.

Hong Kong infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


LONDON - Sheet1
London ©McKinsey & Company

With an expected growth or an increase of more than a million population over the next 20 years, London faces the challenges in ensuring the sustainable transportation system. The city thus shifts to expand the transport network and to make it more efficient and passenger-friendly. More changes are to follow— London is prioritizing public transportation, cycling, and walking, aiming to increase their share of usage to 80 percent by 2041(Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018).

London infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


MADRID - Sheet1
Madrid ©McKinsey & Company

Despite its unique challenges, Madrid follows the sustainable approaches towards transit developments. The Madrid Central Almond area accounts for only 0.5 percent of surface area, yet concentrates more than 35 percent of jobs. Due to such imbalance, more than 1.25 million commuters come to the city on an average workday. The developed radial roads serve as arteries for them, but such significant passenger traffic inevitably boosts congestion. However, the city has a plan in place to address the issue (Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018).

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers
MADRID - Sheet2
Madrid infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


MOSCOW - Sheet1
Moscow ©McKinsey & Company

The Moscow transport system faces three major challenges:

  1. Inflow of residents from all over Russia,
  2. rapidly increasing numbers of commuters from the greater Moscow region where the number of jobs is lagging behind steady population growth, and
  3. residents’ desire to own a car, as it is still a symbol of success and luxury (Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018).

In 2012, Moscow prioritized public and non-motorized transportation by updating its policies. With the strategy to decrease congestion levels and subsequently popularize public transport.

MOSCOW - Sheet2
Moscow infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


CHICAGO - Sheet1
Chicago ©McKinsey & Company

Despite having a well-developed transit system, the residents mostly rely on private vehicles—77 percent of trips are made by car, which is fairly high for a top ten city but this is typical for most of the US cities (Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018). The city itself acknowledges the factors of the high motorization and urban sprawls thus, plans to enhance its public transport, cycling, and pedestrian infrastructure in order to ensure sustainability in transportation and public mobility.

Eduwik- Online Courses for Architects & Designers
CHICAGO - Sheet2
Chicago infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company


SEOUL - Sheet1
Seoul ©McKinsey&Company

Motorization levels have steadily increased over the last decade and with almost 1.5 million people commuting to Seoul from the nearby provinces for work it inevitably adds pressure to the transport system (Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018). Since 2004, Seoul has been primarily focusing on promoting the public and non-motorized transport for ensuring transit-oriented development. This people-oriented approach is the cornerstone of Seoul’s transport system and its continued progress (Stefan M. Knupfer Vadim Pokotilo Jonathan Woetzel, 2018).

Seoul infrastructure ©McKinsey&Company

Ultimately, the developing economies around the world need to realize that with the uplift in the equitable transit system, more people will ride, avoid, and shift the shares to NMT systems which encourage free mobility. The sustainability factor in transit planning approaches delivers more benefits to the environment. In order to make the inclusion of the accessibility in the transportation networks, the transit agencies need to rethink and revive the evolution in the structural approaches to transit planning.


NOOREEN AFZA is a student of Bachelors in architecture who aspires to be privileged enough to influence the millions of minds out there, positively. She loves architecture as much as she respects the words winding-up its whole essence together. Her character is defined by being bold and influential through her writings. 

Write A Comment

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022