The biggest problem faced by the world's transportation planners and visionaries is not how to develop the most amazing new transport technologies, but how to fit the fast-growing population of our planet within the confines of its ever-expanding megacities.
Fourth in a row about the future of transport. Continue reading:
• Why the prophets of transportation always misunderstand it
• The $ 6 Billion barrier keeps electric cars back
• The rail brings China to a belt and a road to nowhere
According to the United Nations Population Division, the 25 largest cities in the world will grow by 113 million over the 15 years to 2030. About three-quarters of this growth will occur in 10 emerging world centers: Delhi, Dhaka, Kinshasa, Shanghai, Lagos, Cairo, Chongqing, Karachi, Beijing and Mumbai. The least populated of this group already have more inhabitants per square kilometer than Paris, London, Tokyo or New York:
Another way of looking at this shift is to measure the increasing consumption of bitumen, the tarry oil residue used to tie many sealed roads. About three quarters of the world's bitumen consumption flows into the road asphalt. Therefore, the current and projected increase in demand is a strong indicator of how we work on Earth:
The entire road transport costs in the form of catastrophic pollution in the city. The most harmful variants are particles that are less than one twentieth of the width of a human hair known as PM2.5. These can penetrate into the narrowest spaces of the lung and cause respiratory diseases and other diseases. In many cities around the world, the values are well above the US Environmental Protection Agency recommended values, which averages 12 micrograms per cubic meter per year for PM2.5:
Not all urban pollution is caused by vehicles, but it is a way to reduce congestion and harmful emissions by putting travelers off the streets in a specialized and normally electrified rail network. Fortunately, the world is currently in the middle of a revolution in light rail. In the decade to 2022, as many kilometers were built as in the 150 years before. This is mainly due to the explosive growth of completely new systems in Asia:
The overload is not limited to the ground. The larger the cities become and the incomes of the people living there increase, the greater the air traffic between the cities of the world. The strongest growth will take place in the shorter and medium-speed intra-regional markets served by the Airbus SE A320 and Boeing Co. 737. However, a major bottleneck will be the capacity of the airports serving this traffic:
Since the urban population of the world overtook the rural population in 2007, another 777 million people have moved to the cities based on World Bank data. As the world handles pressure as urbanization pushes our largest metro areas closer and closer to the border, the design of transport will be more than anything in the coming decades.
To contact the authors of this story: David Fickling at firstname.lastname@example.orgElaine He at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors or the Bloomberg LP and its owners.
David Fickling is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion for commodities and industrial and consumer companies. He was a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.
Elaine He is the data visualization columnist for Bloomberg Opinion in Europe focused on corporate and market coverage. Prior to joining Bloomberg, she was a graphic editor for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
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