The cities of the future will have no cars or become uninhabitable, says a new UCL report.
In a new report, experts call for a reduction in the number of private cars in cities. Globally, the number of cars produced is growing faster than the population: 80 million cars were produced in 2019, while the population increased by 78 million.
The researchers said that in the future, cities should be designed to reduce the number of private cars and encourage walking, cycling. The researchers argue that public transport should be designed as the primary mode of transportation for long journeys, and that cars should only be used in emergencies or special occasions.
In the report, the researchers created a mathematical model of car use in a city where residents either used private vehicles or public transport on a daily basis. The estimated costs were related to the length of travel, as this is a major factor in deciding how to travel.
The authors argue that in a few decades, cities with 40 or 50 million inhabitants will resemble parking lots. In this case, the city will have a maximum level of traffic congestion, and it will also need infrastructure, such as avenues, bridges and parking lots, to accommodate such a number of cars. In such conditions, the usual travel time will increase.
The authors proposed their concept to improve the traffic situation. They proposed to divide people into groups: one group will be able to use the car for a week, and the second will not, after seven days, vice versa. This method helps to reduce the average travel time to work by 25%.
The authors also analyzed the experience of several megacities that introduced rules to reduce traffic on the roads, and concluded that encouraging people to use alternative modes of transport works well, in such conditions a private car becomes less attractive. It is also important to make public transport faster, more reliable, safer and more comfortable.