Promoting urban green travel

Promoting urban green travel

Extensive traffic congestion and air pollution from road traffic in Chinese cities pose significant health and safety threats, compromise operational efficiency, and increase fuel consumption. Factors that contribute to this problem include rapid and extensive urbanization, increased usage of private cars, and the deterioration of good walking and cycling environments. The root cause of urban traffic congestion and traffic generated air pollution in China lies in the insufficient management of urban and transport development by public authorities. Insufficient management includes a lack of top-level vision for urban transport; insufficient attention to local government management and leadership, insufficient financial support, weak administrative capacity of local governments, imperfect performance evaluation systems, and the central government's limited influence on local governments.

This Executive Report provides an overview of the work carried out by the study team comprising Chinese and international experts, who were asked to develop a set of high level recommendations for the State Council on how to deal with the growing problems of traffic congestion and traffic-related air pollution in Chinese cities. The detailed findings and research evidence that underpins these recommendations can be found in the supporting full technical report.

This study forms part of a wider initiative on exploring the ways in which China might develop more sustainable cities, and focuses on the contribution that ‘green travel’ can make to achieve this goal. The report argues that tackling the twin problems of congestion and air pollution requires a switch in investment and policy away from car travel to encouraging the use of more sustainable and efficient ‘green’ modes of transport; in particular, enhanced rail (and bus) services, supported by better walking and cycling networks for local travel, and taxi travel for specific purposes.

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