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public transport

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Cities in China are continuing to suffer from heavy and often slow traffic. According to China Daily, Jinan, Beijing and Harbin are China’s three most congested cities. Jinan traffic, for example, only has an average speed of 21.12 km/h during rush hour. With increased commute times and greenhouse gas emissions, the external costs of traffic congestion are increasing. However, neither the provision of additional road infrastructure nor the development of new car technologies alone can overcome these challenges. Thus, in 2011, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) initiated the Transit Metropolis Programme. Its goal is to promote public transport in cities through better service, more complete infrastructures, efficient management and strong support from local governments. Within that framework, city governments and decision makers have become increasingly interested in how to establish accessible and affordable public transport services and how to create more livable cities. In support of these efforts, GIZ has…

There is justified admiration for the scope and speed of China´s construction of its public transportation infrastructure as a form of green urban transportation. In this short article, we want to shed light on the development and status of public rail network in Beijing and Shanghai by comparing their subway infrastructure to the urban public rail infrastructure of the two German cities Berlin and Munich. On first glance, Beijing and Shanghai have over the past years strongly outperformed the two German cities when considering the growth and length of the subway network (see Figure 1). However, as this short article shows: despite the rapid growth from just one subway line with just a bit more than 40 km in length in the 1990s in both Chinese cities to today`s combined 1200 km, there is still need for further development which both cities are working hard on. Short history of the…

Accessibility and barrier free infrastructures and environments are important indicators for sustainable development. In particular in cities, people who experience disabilities, often face challenges and discrimination regarding the equal participation in using the urban public spaces or infrastructures. This counts especially for public transportation systems. It is often difficult for people with disabilities but also to the elderly to enter subways, railway stations or similar facilities, as these are often not equipped with corresponding facilities, such as elevators, ramps or blind and deaf-friendly signage. To ensure a barrier free development of transportation infrastructure, related facilities and travels, China published a guideline on improving transportation services for the elderly and the disabled. The guideline was jointly released by the MOT, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the China Disabled Persons’ Federation and four other departments on January 12th, 2018. By this China sets up a guiding framework for the establishment…

On June 30 China submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) that describes the climate change commitments to the climate conference in Paris in December 2015. It also outlines that actions are taken in the transport sector. General Commitment (page 5) “Based on its national circumstances, development stage, sustainable development strategy and international responsibility, China has nationally determined its actions by 2030 as follows: • To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early; • To lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60%to 65% from the 2005 level; • To increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%; and • To increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters on the 2005 level. Actions in the transport sector (page 9): “Controlling Emissions from Transportation Sectors • To develop a green and…

Part 1 of the Interview with Dr. Friedemann Kunst, former Head of the Transport Department, in Berlin. Q: Berlin has been ranked among the most sustainable and liveable cities in the world in recent international indices. In terms of transportation and urban development what was the key to success during your time with the Berlin transport department? A: The last 15 years I have been involved in transport planning in Germany’s capital. At first I was responsible for integrated transport planning within the State Senate of Berlin. The last seven years I became the head of the Department of Transport. When I started off with transport planning in Berlin we found ourselves in a difficult situation, 10 years after reunification. We spent a large amount of public funds in public transport but we missed most of our targets that were formulated in the 1990ies. This revelation led to a change…