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Modalities and Functional Aspects of Urban Transportation and Housing

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Urban planning refers to a technical and political process, which is concerned with the use of the urban environment. This include transportation, housing, local government among others. This essay intends to examine, the modalities and functional aspects of urban transportation and housing.


As a point of departure, policies guiding urban housing and transportation are critical in any urban development. The two primary reasons for urban policy include, the urban or cities are integral in economy development beaus most of the populace resides in them. Most cities across the world carry almost more than half of the total population, hence the decisions made by governments, business community and individuals have fundamental impacts on cities consequently on the populace. This requires policies to moderate such decisions and subsequent policies. Secondly, critical challenges need to be solved to secure lasting production and sustainability. Te complexity of these urban issues calls for a national approach, which is articulate and well understood to guide city development and expansion for the sole purpose of improving urban lives. For continued prosperity and wellbeing of the city population, the governments should ensure that, cities must address the needs of current and future generations while still sustaining sustainable growth without jeopardizing environmental resources. For these reasons, the National City policy becomes a fundamental element of having a healthy city population.

Modalities and Functional Aspects of Urban Transportation and Housing

Transportation Policy

Pressure of the continued growth of pollution adds pressure on the existing resources and facilities. In the past, high population in cities has congested roads and this led to expansion to fit the ever-growing population. However, this option is proving to be unsustainable due to the growing cost of building roads. In addition, there is less appropriate land for new roads. According to the vision 2030, most nations across the globe have resolved that urban transport policy and development should not be a one-body orientated, but instead distributed to diverse organizations to help come up with viable policies, which can solve the current trends in transport (INTERNATIONAL ITF/OECD SYMPOSIUM ON TRANSPORT ECONOMICS AND POLICY, 2010). These efforts might not provide the same service to every person but each urban resident will enjoy access to a reasonable standard of service.

It is imperative to note that, incorporation of regional and local transport systems promotes competent modes of the transport. For instance, the passenger reform policy is fundamental in planning transport services at the municipal borders and across other regional. This uniformity across municipals and other regions help in improving the universal level of transport systems and thus adding the value of attractiveness of public transport services to users.

Urban polices on transport systems are significant both in the main cities and around the suburbs. Majority of the populace lives in the city suburbs, which are far from the services and jobs. This implies the as day counts, journeys to work, schools, supermarkets, social places among others are increasingly becoming distant. Hence, policy development on transport systems should be concentrated on solving challenges such as a reduction of dependency on the car and stopping urban fragmentation (INTERNATIONAL ITF/OECD SYMPOSIUM ON TRANSPORT ECONOMICS AND POLICY, 2010). The overall essence, of the transport policy should be focused on land use planning, which will provide consideration on the impacts on traffic and divide between diverse modes of travel. Some of the fundamental aspects of urban transport policy include Vehicle efficiency and emissions, transport technology research and development, construction of principles for roads, rail and marine systems.

Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Policy

The policies guiding the vehicle efficiency and emissions should aim increasing the efficiency and reducing the emission rates. This is valuable because it will lessen the rate of environmental degradation. For instance, the Finland government has set 2020 as the year when all cars on its roads will have at least 100g/km efficient, and 140g/km emission rate (WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN CITIES, 2006).

Transport Technology Research and Development

Most municipals invest in research and project development to create a platform of generating ideas on the best policies of transport system. In most cases, researches aimed at developing policies that reduce pollution, land degradation are embraced. For instance, the policy requiring people who travel a lot to use diesel cars is aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing pollution to the environment. Diesel cars emit less carbon dioxide compared to the petrol-supported cars. Such polices not only improve the transport system but also, help in sustaining a health urban environment (WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN CITIES, 2006). For instance, Finland municipal government has set 2020 as the year when all its roads will have 50% of diesel cars.

Construction of Standards for Roads, Rails and Marine Systems that Relate with the Anticipated Climate Change

Besides greenhouse emissions, the standards developed for urban transport systems should meet the criteria of adapting to the climate change. It is imperative to note that, due that the high population, numerous industrial activities, the rate of urban pollution is high and this contributes to the unpredictable climate changes, which need super standardized transport systems to ensure high standards of service delivery. The policies development should be in line with any possible opportunities of climate change. This enables rapid adjustment on the transport system to fit the evolving change (WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN CITIES, 2006).

It is realizable that, the policies for the transport system development are sensitive to climate change, pollution reduction, efficient land use, meeting the high demand of transport needs and influencing the population’s attitudes and behavior. The overall benefit of such inclination is the reduced environmental degradation and subsequent health urban population.

Urban Housing Policies

Essentially housing policies are analyzed in terms of economic trends as a form of market. A market contributes to efficient allocation through a multifaceted process of harmonizing supply and demand. A few players immensely dominate the housing industry in terms of production and financing and this increase homelessness in urban areas. The swelling urban population has increased the problem of housing. In most cities across the world majority of the people, live either in slums or as squatters (JONES & WATKINS, 2009). Governments have tried to come up with polices in a bid to address these problems. The success of housing polices in any city across the world cannot be explained by a single factor, however, the overall aim is to meet the needs of mixture population. The policies to be designed should be in line with the city mixed income levels of the population, which include low and medium levels.

Policy on Income Levels and Housing

The city populations composed of the poor homelessness, low, moderate and higher income groups. For the case of the low-income earners, the policy initiating programs of building houses in isolated areas has been embraced in most cities across the world. For example, in India, a governmental policy of earmarking a portion of a layout for developing houses for the urban poor has been widely embraced (JONES & WATKINS, 2009). The private developers are allowed to built houses and then sell them to the targeted group, at a cost relatively less than the prevailing market. This is made possible through the government subsidy program. This policy as enabled the majority of the low earners access housing and this reduced the rate of slum development, consequently reduced pollution and depletion of resources.

 This program is in line with the program of providing affordable housing for all, where it is mandatory to reserve 10-15% of land for the development of houses for the urban poor. This program has helped in opening up the scarce urban land for development of houses (NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL, 2003). It is realizable that, the significant purpose of this policy or strategy is to increase the supply of the urban housing stock with the minimum market price distortion.

Preservation and Current Environment Policy

Policy makers across the world are wary on the housing units to be preserved and those to be replaced by new units. The aspect of environmental changes determines the type of areas to be built. Old and bad conditioned houses are replaced with new houses that fit present environmental conditions (NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL, 2003). This promotes a healthy city population. For instance, in India, the houses built in the suburbs of the old town of Mumbai have been rebuilt to fit the changing environmental conditions. Policies that are sensitive to environmental changes help in modernizing city housing.

City Policy on Housing and Accessibility

Development of city houses be it commercial or residential must be in line with the transport system to enable accessibility.  Most governments across the world have embraced housing policies, which provide wide road reserves for future expansions (NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL, 2003). In essence, some cities have faced challenges of destroying houses built on road reserves because of poor policies. Housing policies that provide stringent measures for any irregular construction of houses should be embraced to ensure smooth correlation between transportation systems and housing.


The policies guiding the city transport and housing systems are comparable in numerous ways, particularly on their ultimate goal. The ultimate objective of these polices include meeting the increasing demand of the city population such as satisfying the transportation and housing needs. Secondly, the polices are designed in such way that, they meet the modern city demands such as the complex pattern and design of city development, and more fundamental, the policies are designed in such way that, they reduce environmental degradation and enhance a healthy city population.

List of references
  •  INTERNATIONAL ITF/OECD SYMPOSIUM ON TRANSPORT ECONOMICS AND POLICY. (2010). The future for interurban passenger transport bringing citizens closer together : 18th International Symposium on Transport Economics and Policy, 16-18 November 2009, Madrid. Paris, OECD/ITF.
  • JONES, C., & WATKINS, C. (2009). Housing markets & planning policy. Chichester, U.K., Wiley-Blackwell Pub.
  • NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (U.S.). (2003). GIS for housing and urban development. Washington, D.C., National Academies Press.
  • WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN CITIES. (2006). Sustainable transport in Central and Eastern European cities: proceedings of the Workshop on Transport and Environment in Central and Eastern European Cities : 28th-30th June 1995, Bucharest, Romania. Paris, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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