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Major UN report on urban mobility

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses participants at World Habitat Day 2013. (UN Photo/Sarah Fretwell)

UN-HABITAT’s biannual flagship report, Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility: Global Report on Human Settlements 2013, issued in October, emphasizes the importance of access to public transit as “the ultimate objective of all transportation,” particularly in developing cities.

The 348-page report advocates a “conceptual leap” beyond adding roadways to ideas such as telecommuting and mixed-use development (where workers live close to jobs) to alleviate congestion. Urban planning, the report adds, should focus on “how to bring people and places together” rather than just extending infrastructure.

The report also recommends increased coordination of public transit and land use to encourage transit-accessible development that also minimizes travel times. Cities highlighted for their visionary transit strategies include Ahmedabad, India; Curitiba; Copenhagen, Singapore and Stockholm.


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