three aims: to allow a rapid growth in the number of PUCs; to enable PUCs to operate effectively; and to achieve a balance between the transport needs and the health of the city. The ultimate objective is sustainable development for the cities of China.
Dr. Lu said that in city planning, land use should conform to group type forms along a city’s axial directions in order to increase the utility of PUCs, in long and middle distance travel and reduce centripetal traffic flows. An example is the experience of Tokyo, with its possible application to Guangzhou.
For traffic engineering, the aim is to classify roads in terms of function so that road capacity can be optimized. Vehicle operating conditions must be improved and controlled to maintain a reasonable vehicle speed. Singapore and Bangkok will be the models, to be applied in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Urumqi, and Harbin.
He said traffic management plans should seek to adopt intelligent traffic (IT) techniques to divert the traffic flows in real time, to disperse the congested areas, and to assure smooth working of the road network. Seoul is an example to be examined, with applications to Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, Changsha, and Zhaoqin.
For transport services, Dr. Lu said a high standard, multi-mode coordinated transport system should be adopted for passenger services in order to create a rational transfer regime between the transit system and PUC users. International examples are Curitiba, Brazil, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beijing, China.
Dr. Lu concluded by stating the rapid development of the Chinese economy has brought China rapid urbanization and mobility. An increase in the number of PUCs is an inevitable outcome of these forces. The massive increase in PUCs is placing great pressure on the cities, for which society must pay a cost. Nevertheless, the trend for development of PUCs in China is clear, with a great potential demand that must be met. It is necessary to adopt suitable policies, so that PUCs will play a positive role between urbanization and mobility in sustainable development.
During the discussion period, a questioner noted that the best policy seemed to be to get people to purchase cars and then not use them. He asked whether ownership restriction or congestion tolls were under consideration. Dr. Lu noted that use control policies are ad hoc. When traffic volume gets too high, the government considers issuing permits for odd and even day use. But some people park cars outside of the city and thus avoid control. The World Bank has promoted electronic congestion pricing in Singapore and Hong Kong, but in China the car users are a powerful elite, and the political will to limit use is not present.
Another questioner asked if public-private partnerships to capitalize road construction had been attempted. Dr. Lu replied that many methods have been attempted. The central government may allow local governments to build highways. Sometimes highways are built and then sold on the stock market. There is a great variety of financing methods for highways, but in urban areas, it is hard to collect revenue from roads, except on toll roads and toll bridges. License fees seem the only option.
A questioner noted that road area is increasing as a proportion of city land area, and asked if there is a practical limit. Dr. Lu said that the problem is not the lack of roads but traffic management. Road area per vehicle is comparable with London. But most of the roads are local access. The Chinese government puts emphasis on freeways, but freeway ramps are congested.