Big city ills such as traffic congestion and pollution have become a headache for major cities in China with the increasing population and rising motor vehicle population. According to the Traffic Analysis Report of Major Cities in China in 2018 released by leading Chinese online mapping service provider Amap, among the 361 cities analyzed, 61 percent suffered slow driving speeds during peak hours. Beijing was the city with the highest mileage ratio of congestion during peak hours, Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, ranked second while Shanghai was eighth.
Traffic problems are not only related to the supply and demand of road resources, but also closely related to urban planning and the spatial layout of a city. To solve the problem, functions of the city center should be limited while the layout should be better organized to cut down on commute times.
In recent years, many cities in China have announced a series of efforts to ease traffic pressure, such as imposing restrictions on the use and purchase of vehicles and promoting environmentally conscious traveling. Public transportation has gradually become the mainstream choice.
Intelligent transportation systems have also played a significant role in the modernization of urban governance. These systems can provide innovative services related to different modes of transport and traffic management, as well as enable users to be better informed and make use of safer, more coordinated, and smarter transport networks to ease congestion.
Moreover, rational allocation of industrial, population and public service resources can also help. Joint efforts from land resources and transport authorities to improve urban planning can reduce traffic congestion by clearing space and relocating populations to surrounding areas.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Oriental Outlook on December 26, 2019)