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Report: Congestion Defeats the Economic Purpose of Cities

Rapid urbanization and over-reliance on the inefficiencies of automobiles has set back the economies of urbanizing locations in the Global South, according to a new report.
May 29, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Adela Suliman reports on the details of a new report detailing the costs of congestion in two cities of the Global South—Johannesburg and Mexico City.

According to the study by the World Resources Institute, the cost of rapid urbanization and motorization is congestion, which results in decreased access to jobs, services, and people. "Lack of access afflicts both low-income communities scattered throughout the city and low- to medium-income people living in suburbs and peripheral settlements who use private cars and motorcycles on long, congested commutes," according to a separate article by Christo Venter, Anjali Mahendra, and Dario Hidalgo for WRI.

As made clear by Suliman, the challenges described in the report extend far beyond the two case study cities: "Traffic is a 'chronic' problem in many developing cities […]with economic growth often prioritised above planning and the fallout most heavily felt by poor communities."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, May 23, 2019 in Thomson Reuters Foundation
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