Transportation technology

How transportation shaped the city?

The unexpected growth of transportation resulted to the problem of congestion in the city areas.

Transportation led to the development of cities and town centers along the roads, railways terminals and air terminals.

Trace how changing transportation technology has shaped the city

Since the twentieth century improvement of transportation technology has greatly impacted in shaping the city in numerous ways. City transportation has undergone significant change since the age of horse-drawn carts to the automobile age. The technological advance has led to the decline in the transportation costs which have promoted the development of regional specialization, as agricultural patterns became almost correlated with the production costs differential. With the advancement of mass production of goods and services, agglomeration economies in manufacturing sector also impacted the production costs differential. At the early part of the century, the geographical impact of the decline in real transportation costs was to intensify a nations or country's manufacturing concentration to centered areas, which later developed to cities. At this point, due to this reduction, locational factors like geographically differentiated labor costs among different regions, were vital to the development of interconnected transport system. It was created to cater for the demands of an integrated and interdependent distanced economies. The impacts of expressway buildings on the commercial strip advancements and on the suburbanization of houses and job opportunities.

There were large chunks of abandoned rail trackage underlying behind. This has been an headache to city planners for many years especially in the major cities. The precarious financial condition of the deregulated airline companies has a bad correlation between quick technological advancement in transportation and the financial stability of the individual carriers.

Change in transportation technology has a direct impact on the accessibility of cities and is one of the causal factors in the changes in the land usage that occur with times. Advancements in the structure and capacity of transport network influence the ease of movement around and within the cities. Thus improves accessibility of the cities. Increase in accessibility is always due to an increase in the demand for convenient and reliable transport means, in terms of real cost of transportation.

The compact, concentric form of early urban centers, with one central main of commercial activities encircled by residential houses, was a sensible city form for a pedestrian urban center. The development of the star shaped city form with a radial extensions of growth was also a rational effect of the more reliable transportation networks provided by the electric streetautomobile. The change in city form with time among concentric and sectoral forms is a definite indication of the essence of transportation technology in connecting new locations for development along main major routes and in the consequent filling in of the interstitial area between the routes.

The changing city structures have led to increased dependency in the mass public transportation means for city commuters.

It can be concluded that the characteristics of a transportation include: automobile ownership, availability of parking lots, accessibility of a mass transit service, and amount of roadway space.

Discuss current transportation trends

Since the development of transportation advances, mobility and transportation have become and integral part of the economy, for transporting goods, labor, capital and social agents. In the recent past, locational mobility of goods and people has greatly increased, this is a result of increase in population and also due to technology and economic advancements that have intensified the transport society. For example, total travel within and around the United Kingdom increased more than six times between the 1970s and 2005, although United Kingdom's population almost grew twice-fold during the period.

Many current and future transportation trends promise to change the city's transportation system.

Suburbanization of cities has led to the growing need of nonmetropolitan public transportation system. Suburbanization has resulted to a commuter circulation structure, which is circumferential instead of urban-centered. With more smaller households, the transport network continues to be multi-directional across regions. There is emerging dispersion of manufacturing and service industries, which is also reflected in the dispersion of residential population.

The intertwining correlation among the economy, environment, and the transportation system, is emerging as a current trend. Motorized transport means and other commercial activities impact on the environment through gas emissions to the environment which are detrimental to human lives. A major campaign has been staged to fight against the use of non-renewable resources, particularly fossil fuels and rather adoption of more friendly sources of fuel. This has led to innovation of other hybrid modes of transportation that do not rely on fossil fuels, such as, electric cars and trains.

The intervention of governments in the transportation network

Current and increasing transportation information technology's has impacted on transportation's administration, planning, and operation. Administrative systems are important to sustain the reliability and effectiveness of the regulatory agencies they support. Nowadays, countries and cities support adoption of current technologies to enable the effectiveness of their transportation management, for instance, digital orthophotography, geographical information system, intelligent transportation systems and global positioning systems. Country's have integrated transportation databases, communication through electronic mails and file transfer, which are available online, providing a bigger information marketplace.

Safety issues are a current transportation trend. Accidents in the transportation sector a major cause of passenger deaths and massive loss of property due to systems failure, negligence in the industry and other causes. This has called for the intervention of policymakers and the industry players to comes up with ways to address safety issues affecting the transportation sector.

Cities are adopting a new trend known as the “traditional neighborhood” model, that is aimed at minimizing transportation requirements and impact the urban forms, by incredibly easing traffic congestion. This focuses more on city planning and project development instead of transportation financing considerations.

Transportation influences on urban form

Transportation structures impacts the development patterns in a region, that is, urban form. Expressways and public transit encourage decentralization trends, in terns of local balance of job opportunities, residence patterns and concentration of commercial activities. People opt to reside and work according to the accessibility of their areas of work and availability of labor, since the transportation costs of people and goods depends on the distances covered. When these costs are fixed, maybe by the location of a transshipment point, the value of land at all locations is ascertained by the demand, and also somehow by the opportunity cost of transportation at that particular location. This explains the classical economic theory that land and residence values vary with the distance from where individuals opt to reside. In equilibrium, industries and home owners will opt to establish according to their personal assessment of the market trade off between transportation cost and their demand for land.

Residential suburbs come up due to the decreased transportation costs as a result of expressway network and also due to the high per capita income in the crowded areas forcing individuals to move out to areas with no market discrimination for land and housing units. This makes many cities have a lot of regions and sub-regions, which cause the usual single centered urban system to develop into numerous multi-nucleated forms.

There is a consistent correlation between the numerous measures of urban form, transport network characteristics and energy consumption. Recent studies show that their no connection between the various transportation financing measures and the urban form. Transportation land use in the cities involved public policy on the uses of land, development concentrations, parking accessibility, expressway efficiency, and the balance between the transit and roads investments. Dispersion and automobile usage trends are increased by the application of highway service level model to influence the availability of facilities. It is evident that sound transportation structures, that is, proper land usage and market processes, impact greatly on the urban form than transportation investments.

In conclusion, currently even though transportation technology greatly impact the urban form, economic and regulatory factors impact more. Transportation technologies are cyclical while urban morphology is permanent, that is, cities have socio physical structures that are strong and resist short term changes. The propositions of usage of land tend to increase in an adverse sense from inefficient public financing for transportation developments. The more the improvement catalysts and the deficit in developments financed from widely varied revenue sources, the greater the significance of the influences of particular transportation factors on urban form. Also it is evident that the cities in different stages of maturity are influenced differently by technologies and urban form is more during the early stage of maturity and lower in a populated and developed city.

Reference list:

Safdie, M 1997, The City After the Automobile, Harper Collins, New York.

Newman, P & Kenworthy, J 1999, ‘The Problem of Automobile Dependence at the End of the Twentieth Century', Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence, Island Press, Washington, DC, pp. 27 - 67.

Taaffe, EJ, Gauthier, HL & O'Kelly, ME 1996, Geography of transportation, MORTON O'KELLY, Alamance, NC.

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