Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

A Look At The Special Problems Of Linking Urban Transport And Land Use In Developing Countries

University of California, Berkeley, Professor Robert Cervero's article "Linking urban transport and land use in developing countries" has been added to the Resource Center best practices database. The article originally appeared in the Journal of Transport and Land Use in May 2013 as part of a World Symposium on Transport & Land Use Research special issue.

Cervero draws on examples from South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, India, Africa, and South America as he illustrates how mobility challenges of the developing world are considerably different than those in wealthier, advanced countries. With that complexity comes increased challenges of coordinating transportation and land use, but the rewards can be even greater.

"While integrated transport and land development can relieve congestion, cleanse the air, and conserve energy, its potential to reduce what remains the gravest problem facing the Global South extreme and persistent poverty is every bit if not more important," Cervero concludes.

Cervero suggests developing countries eschew rail development in favor of less expensive bus systems in order to maintain affordability. Combining affordable transit access with mixed land-use patterns and walking/cycling friendly environments allow the very poor to allocate income for other urgent  purposes and thus helps reduce poverty.

"The cardinal features of integrated and sustainable transport and urbanism everywhere—accessible urban activities and safe, attractive walking and cycling environs—are particularly vital to the welfare and prosperity of urbanites in the world’s poorest countries," Cervero explains.