Keywords: alternative fuels, alternative propulsion systems, global climate change, local air pollution, oil depletion, urban density, urban heat islands, public transport, traffic congestion, non-motorised travel, Asia, urban transport, sustainability, sustainable development
Environmental and resource constraints on Asian urban travel
In industrialising countries, personal income has been the main constraint on widespread car ownership. However, incomes are rising rapidly in many Asian cities, so that traffic congestion and air pollution are replacing income as barriers to higher car ownership. Global oil depletion and climate change are potential additional constraints. The main finding of this paper is that private car travel is unlikely to ever be the dominant mode in Asia's large cities. Instead, a combination of public transport and non-motorised travel seems the only feasible means of sustainably meeting the growing transport needs of congested Asian cities.