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Essay Sample about Challenge Facing Sustainable Cities

Date published: | Lisa Barlow

Posted in: Free Essay Samples

As more people move into urban areas in search of residence and work, transportation networks become key in moving people from metropolitan parts of the city to suburbs and vice versa. Developing a transportation infrastructure that is sustainable for the long-term has increasingly presented a formidable challenge for city planners.[1]

Urban population surge always means that the infrastructure in place ought to be aligned with the needs of the people as pertains to movement. More importantly, sustainability demands efficiency of transport networks and, more so, at an affordable price.[2] The automobile is fast becoming obsolete as an efficient and affordable means of transportation in modern times. From impacting climate change through emissions to wasting time and resources in traffic jams, a modern solution to transportation in developing cities must be sought. The premise of this discussion is to discuss transportation as the main challenge facing sustainable cities of today and the future as well as present legislation recommendations meant to address it.

Modern cities of today incorporate various modes of transportation such as light rail, road, and air transport as a means of getting from one place to another. However, road pervades as the most utilized means of transport only seconded by rail transport. The affordability and convenience offered by road transport, especially across short distances, makes it preferred.  Therefore, sustainable cities ought to design a road network that integrates both air and rail transport in a manner that not only provided convenience but also affordability. Rapid population growth in megacities means that the road networks should be built to handle many vehicles at a go. However, expanding highways and freeways does not meet this challenge owing to the ever-increasing limited room for expansion. The solution; therefore, does not lie in building more roads. Rather, in reducing the number of vehicles on the roads.

The debacle; hence, is on designing a road network that integrates rail and air transport networks and can respond to increasing numbers of travelers despite having limited roads to move along. The solution relies on technological revolution as innovation is a formidable approach to addressing the challenge.[3] As such, public transportation should be prioritized on road networks as opposed to private cars. In this regard, solutions for travel that incorporate vehicles with high carrying capacity should be explored. This means that governments should invest in buses that ferry more people from one place to another and eliminate the use of taxis and private cars on the roads.[4] In the same breath, the advancements in technologies should as well target the development of a transportation system that depends on timely and accurate schedules. Hence, develop public trust and confidence in public transportation services.

Therefore, what can be done legislatively to fast track the technological advancement of the establishment of an effective public transportation network.[5] Well, investing in science and technology is a good first step. Legislators should make a law that requires the government to mandate funds to the development of engineering on the improvement of rapid transport systems.[6] Through this move, creative minds can be facilitated to develop plans and innovate modern vehicles that respond to the need for bulk movement of people. Hence, the creation of automobiles that have a high carrying capacity and roads that allow for the swift movement of traffic will ensure that sustainable cities of the future are well-equipped to meet the transportation needs of the population.[7] What is more, legislators should also make laws that respond to the needs of a growing population with an impact on the environment in mind. For instance, devising a law on carbon tax for private vehicles can encourage more people to travel publicly.[8]

Equally, fast-tracking the development of a rapid transportation network by the government requires laws that will also target the manufacturers of vehicles.[9] For instance, offering incentives to manufacturers who build high carrying capacity vehicles as opposed to low-capacity vehicles can encourage the production of buses more than private cars. At the same time, the legislature should also mandate the government to provide a public transportation network that is managed professionally to provide convenience and affordability to citizens. For instance, legislators can mandate the government to purchase rapid transportation buses to ease the movement of passengers from the train station to the central business district (CBD) and from the airport to the CBD as well. Such a raft of measures will serve to address the modern challenge that most cities face concerning effective and efficient transportation networks; hence, ease the flow of people, goods, and services in the worlds’ sustainable cities.[10]

Conclusively, effective, and efficient transportation networks remains a formidable challenge facing modern sustainable cities worldwide. It is the prerogative of the government to ensure that its citizens have access to a seamless transport network in the wake of the growing number of people in developing cities. As espoused, investment in technological development and innovation is the most appropriate means of securing the future of transportation in sustainable cities. The legislation developed, therefore, should be designed to address the affordability and convenience of transport networks. Importantly integrating the rail, road, and air transport networks through a high-capacity-based road network is the most promising solution to the problem as depicted by the policy recommendations discussed.


[1]The paper highlights possible directions in the development of sustainable public transport solutions” (Lejda, Madziel and Siedlecka 97).

[2]The paper offers a review of key sustainable transportation concepts and how public transport contributes to sustainability goals (Miller, De Barros and Kattan 1077).

[3]Congestion and road accidents are both considered essential challenges for sustainable mobility in large cities” (Albalate and Fageda 5092).

[4]Accordingly, rapid transport networks have a higher carrying capacity that eases traffic (Albalate and Fegeda 5099).

[5]Lejda et al. denote that innovation is critical in future designs of sustainable cities (99).

[6]Investing in education and training enhances talent development in improving engineering skills (Albalate and Fageda 6001).

[7]Megacities will require bulk transportation vehicles to ease congestion (Miller et al. 1078).

[8]Charging people for driving private cars deters the ownership of private vehicles(Lejda et al. 101).

[9]Vehicle makers should focus more on developing high-capacity vehicles than personal cars (Miller et al. 1080).

[10]Building sustainable cities requires sacrifices such as the comfort of personal vehicles. (Lejda et al. 104).

Essay References

Albalate, Daniel, and Xavier Fageda. “Congestion, road safety, and the effectiveness of public policies in urban areas.” Sustainability 11.18 (2019): 5092-6009.

Lejda, Kazimierz, et al. “The future of public transportation in light of solutions for sustainable development.” Scientific Journal of Silesian University of Technology: Series Transport 95.1 (2017): 97-108.

Miller, Patrick, et al. “Public transportation and sustainability: A review.” KCSE Journal of Civil Engineering 20.3 (2016): 1076-1083.