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Rethinking urban transit development for a thriving future
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Moshiuzzaman Mahmud
Transport Planning and Economics Lead

The pandemic brings a once in a lifetime opportunity to rethink how we plan thriving cities for future generations.

In the effort to centre communities around multimodal transportation, we’ve seen the concepts of 15-minute city, the complete neighbourhood, urban intensification and transit-oriented development (TOD) emerge. Founded on the principle of improving the lives of residents by making cities more accessible, forward-looking communities drive higher densities of people around jobs, amenities, high quality public areas, and mass transit, all the while allowing less dependence on cars and improved inclusivity.

Today, 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas and this is projected to increase to 68% by 20501. Megacities across the world continue to struggle in accommodating their growing populations and promoting economic inclusion. The added complexities of pandemic recovery have triggered changes in consumer preferences with flexible working, travel mode choice and high-density living. What does this mean for future urban transit development and intensification? Will people remain in cities? What will the city of the future look like post-pandemic to keep people attracted to urban living?

The pandemic has exposed the need for people at every age and economic stage to have safe, affordable and adequate living arrangements to support a high quality of life and provide the opportunity to build a better future. Some past developments have led to increased land value by billions of dollars and housing for hundreds of thousands of people. Occasionally, they fall short in syncing public transport with placemaking in less attractive areas and do not put a strong enough emphasis on sustainable infrastructure solutions that meet climate goals and make best use of resources. By anticipating future needs, applying lessons learned as well as understanding the gaps, we can adapt and get it right for future generations.

People appreciate convenient lifestyles and walkable access to amenities and leisure activities. After the pandemic, when our lives return to some type of normal, we need to have the fundamentals for building resilient communities in place. Not all of us have the means to live in a city nor can cities accommodate everyone. There is a fine art to bringing policy, finance and smart urban transit development together to create an equitable experience for development sponsors, investors and ultimately residents and businesses that call cities home. It starts with intelligent planning and investment.

Resilient and future ready urban transit development

Wood is committed to intelligent, sustainable infrastructure solutions that enhance resilience to shocks, accommodate safer and less-carbon intensive movement of people and goods and meet  the goals of all stakeholders involved.

From expanding transit systems to meet sustainability and growth goals in Canada, using digital twins to reduce congestion and improve network efficiency for the first connected vehicle project of its kind in the UK and partnering with the Global Resilience Cities Network to prioritise future city infrastructure investment decisions using our newly developed resilience screening tool, we are leading the charge to a better future.

To learn about how city planners, operators and developers can create smart and agile mobility solutions read Wood’s latest viewpoint.

Tune into The Wood Podcast, where our experts discuss the future of urban mobility in an uncertain world.

Urban transport infographic

Unlocking smarter urban transit development solutions for a thriving future

Wood’s global transportation planners and designers recognise that the keys to success are the right policy and regulatory framework, finance partnerships, market research, environmental safeguards, and social goals to invest in and develop transit-oriented communities. By applying best in class practices from diverse communities and experts, harnessing our ingenuity in planning large-scale resilient infrastructure projects and using technology to assess and model new demands, our expertise empowers project sponsors to embrace new challenges, de-risk investments, monetise land development and drive positive outcomes for all stakeholders involved. Our intelligent planners help city and transport authorities, operators and developers unlock the following questions:

Want to learn more about how we can help transform your urban transit planning and development strategy? Wood is united by our mission to create a sustainable future as the world evolves to a cleaner planet. Our bold spirit drives us to lead the charge, our actions transform challenges into solutions, and our curiosity keeps us pushing, innovating, making the impossible… possible.

1 Source: UN world urbanisation prospects

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