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Each mission abroad focuses on a theme that en- INTRODUCTION compasses a topic of concern in public transportation. China and India now represent one-third of the Cities are selected according to their ability to demon- world's population. In the past 20 years, both coun- strate leading-edge strategies and approaches to tries have experienced rapid economic growth and public transportation issues and challenges as reflected urbanization. The Chinese economy has become the in the study mission's overarching theme. second-largest economy in the world and India the The members of each study team are fully briefed fourth-largest. prior to departure. The intensive, professionally chal- This rapid expansion, however, presents new lenging, 2-week mission has three objectives: to af- and significant challenges to India, China, the global ford team members the opportunity to expand their economy, and the environment. India's population network of domestic and international public trans- was approximately 30% urbanized in 2006, but this portation peers, to provide a forum for discussion share is expected to grow to 60% before stabiliz- of global initiatives and lessons learned in public ing.1 Similarly, China's urban population has reached transportation, and to facilitate idea-sharing and nearly 50%.2 The transportation sectors in both the possible import of strategies for application to economies are rapidly expanding their share of en- transportation communities in the United States. ergy use. If these countries follow the typical model Mission participants return home with ideas for possi- of economic growth that involves high energy use and ble application in their own communities. Partici- high consumption, their continued growth will have a pants are encouraged to share their international significant, and potentially dangerous, effect on the experience and findings with peers in the public global environment. Air quality and traffic safety transit community throughout the United States. have declined precipitously in many urban areas as For additional information about the Interna- street congestion has worsened, and China is already tional Transit Studies Program, please contact Gwen displacing the United States as the world's largest Chisholm-Smith at TCRP (202-334-3246; gsmith@ producer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. nas.edu) or Kathryn Harrington-Hughes at 443-385- The ITSP team visited two cities in India 0300 (email@example.com). (Ahmedabad and Delhi) and three cities in China (Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai) to evaluate how these two countries are responding to the chal- ABOUT THIS DIGEST lenges of urbanization and sustainable public transit The following digest is an overview of a mission systems. that explored how public transportation systems in Two of the cities recently were honored with the India and China have implemented plans, policies, Sustainable Transport Award, which is given annu- technologies, and strategies for creating more livable ally by the Institute for Transportation Development communities through bus, metro, bus rapid transit, and Policy (ITDP) in recognition of progress in in- rail, and light rail systems. These innovative systems creasing mobility for all residents while reducing are designed to reduce energy consumption and car- transportation greenhouse and air pollution emis- bon emissions, lower operating costs, and provide sions and improving safety and access for cyclists safe and accessible transportation services. The digest and pedestrians. Ahmedabad received the award in is based on individual reports provided by the mission 2010 and Guangzhou in 2011. Both cities were rec- team members, and it reflects the observations of the ognized for their bus rapid transit (BRT) systems and team members, who are responsible for the facts high-quality pedestrian and bicycle facilities. and accuracy of the data presented. The digest does not necessarily reflect the views of TCRP, TRB, the Ahmedabad National Academies, the American Public Trans- portation Association (APTA), FTA, or Harrington- Ahmedabad, with a population of approximately Hughes & Associates. 5 million, is the largest city in the state of Gujarat A list of the study team members is included in Appendix A. A list of the public transportation agen- 1Ministry of Urban Development. National Urban Transport cies and organizations with whom the team met is Policy (NUTP). Government of India, April 2006, p. 1. included in Appendix B. 2NUTP, p. 3. 2
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and serves as its commercial and cultural capital. For and services. Delhi's more advanced highway infra- decades, Ahmedabad's economic vitality was based structure and higher rates of automobile ownership on its manufacturing industry, primarily textiles, have generated substantially more sprawl than in which led to its ranking in 2001 as the fourth most- many other Indian cities. polluted city in India. At the same time, the city faced transportation challenges caused by increased auto ownership, population growth, and longer commut- Guangzhou ing distances. In response, the Ahmedabad Municipal Guangzhou (formerly Canton) is experiencing Corporation (AMC) in 2007 committed to the devel- massive booms in both infrastructure development opment of India's first citywide BRT system. A sub- and population. Long an industrial powerhouse in stantial portion of the funding for design, engineering, southern China, Guangzhou is the administrative and construction was provided by the Jawaharlal capital, and the cultural and commercial center, of Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Guangdong Province. Guangzhou's current popula- a discretionary program administered by the federal tion stands at approximately 12 million. Ministry of Urban Development. By 2005, gridlock conditions on Zhongshan AMC was well prepared to compete for JNNURM Avenue, the city's primary east-west arterial through funds because of the master planning process carried the urban core, had become a major impediment to out every 10 years by the Ahmedabad Urban Devel- the success of a number of adjacent commercial and opment Authority (AUDA). The latest version of the residential developments. Zhongshan Avenue crosses plan was completed in 2002. Both AMC and AUDA benefit substantially from technical expertise pro- several "new town" urban development districts, vided by academic partners at the Center for Envi- such as the landmark Zhujiang financial district ronmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) Uni- where new skyscrapers reach above 100 stories. This versity. A leading institution for urban planning in corridor also serves the Huangcun district near the India, CEPT University is planning support activ- Guangdong Olympic Sports Center, a large sports ities for other BRT systems under development in stadium used extensively in the 2010 Asian Games. India and is one of four universities that have been As in Ahmedabad, officials in Guangzhou de- designated by India's Ministry of Urban Develop- cided to leverage expertise from a public research ment as centers of excellence for technical and in- institution to help develop sustainable solutions to stitutional support. acute traffic congestion problems. The Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research In- stitute (GMEDRI) was tapped in early 2005 to in- Delhi vestigate improvements to the Zhongshan Avenue The population of Delhi's metropolitan area is corridor. expected to exceed 20 million in the next 10 years. Congestion was being caused not only by auto- Given that the metropolitan area extends beyond mobile traffic, but also by the hundreds of buses hourly the boundaries of the Delhi National Capital Ter- serving core segments. Especially at bus stops near ritory, in 1985 the Indian Parliament created the major intersections, buses queuing behind or passing National Capital Region Planning Board to coor- one another often caused gridlock. The Guangzhou dinate transportation planning for the Delhi Na- Metro was also rapidly developing in 2005, with four tional Capital Territory and portions of Haryana, of its railway lines crossing the corridor at various Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh states in the Delhi points and generating additional pedestrian traffic. Be- metropolitan area. cause of these traffic volumes on all modes, GMEDRI As in Ahmedabad and other urban areas in India, determined that full reconstruction of the Tianhe the primary causes of acute congestion are the rapid Road/Zhongshan Avenue/Huangpu East Road corri- growth in automobile ownership and steadily rising dor was necessary, and that physically separated incomes, which allow residents to live farther from facilities should be provided for buses, automobiles, work. Unlike many other metropolitan areas in India, pedestrians, and bicycles. GMEDRI proposed the im- however, Delhi's potential for redevelopment in the plementation of a BRT system along Tianhe Road and urban core is limited by the presence of the federal Zhongshan Avenue and continuing along Huangpu government and its associated buildings, institutions, East Road to the Huangpu district of the city. 3