WIT Press

The Transport Challenge In The Sustainability Of Megacities


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WIT Press


A. Igwe


The United Nation defines Megacities as cities with ten million or more inhabitants. Megacities now occupy a prominent place in the global sustainable development debate. They pose a major development challenge contributing immensely to global warming, environmental pollution and poor urban life quality. Megacities are increasing in number, size and geographical spread and are moving well beyond the ten million mark. By 2015, the top three megacities, Tokyo, Mumbai and Lagos, are each expected to have exceeded 20 million inhabitants. The place of transport in megacity sustainability is crucial. Transport has emerged as one of the major challenges governments have to contend with in their struggle for sustainable development, and policy makers the world over are beginning to appreciate the need to address the motorization and mobility crisis. This paper examines the transport challenges confronting sustainable development in Tokyo, Mumbai, Lagos and New York. It considers city profiles, congestion and pollution levels, and the imbalance in transport planning and policies and recommends a positive reconstruction of transport system to meet societal expectations. While Tokyo, Mumbai and Lagos will be the top three, mirroring a decade ahead, the significance of New York is that it was the first to attain megacity status. The problem of scale is central to the arguments and megacities are found to be greatly responsible for global warming and dragging productivity beyond national boundaries. It is the author’s view that transportation planning and management for megacities will require a paradigm shift if sustainability is going to be achieved. To meet these challenges, Megacities will need transport models that best fit their socio-economic development goals, geographic constraints, together with sound transport economic policies and social education. Keywords: sustainability, megacities and transport challenge.


sustainability, megacities and transport challenge.