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Internationally Renowned Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania Vukan R. Vuchic Published a Transit Trilogy

Internationally Renowned Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, Transportation Systems Engineer, and Consultant,

Philadelphia, PA – WEBWIRE

The most comprehensive three books about urban transit, its role and impact on livability of cities.

These books are:

  • “Urban Transit Systems and Technology,” John Wiley & Sons, 2007
  • “Urban Transit Operations, Planning, and Economics,” John Wiley & Sons, 2005
  • “Transportation for Livable Cities" Taylor & Francis, 2018

Complementary with the two books presenting urban transit systems, Vuchic’s book “Transportation for Livable Cities” covers the broader area of the relationship between transportation systems and quality of life in cities. This book critically reviews the problems created when many cities followed short-sighted policies of building large freeway networks and parking facilities while neglecting transit, pedestrians and other modes. The result was that automobile use increased so that traffic congestion was not eliminated. Moreover, such “auto-based” cities became much less livable than traditional “human-based” cities. Chapter 1 describes the policies favoring automobiles, while neglecting other travel modes. A flow chart shows this “vicious circle of urban transportation.”

Chapter 2 defines the family of urban transportation modes, from pedestrians to rail transit. It illustrates that family on a diagram of system capacity and performance vs. investment cost. Optimal use of transit modes for different city sizes is shown on a diagram. This detailed discussion of the relationship between different transportation modes and cities’ livabilities is applied in Chapter 3 to the developments in urban transportation in the United States in recent decades. Consequences of inadequate understanding of the impacts of transportation policies on cities’ livability are discussed in considerable detail.

Chapter 4 describes transportation policies and transit developments in selected major cities in Europe, East Asia, North America and Australia. Leading in rational planning of urban transportation are cities in Germany, Scandinavia, Austria and other European countries, as well as Singapore, Japan and Canada. Comparisons of different countries and cities show that the United States was not among its leading peer countries, but its strong bias for private cars and neglect of transit has been corrected gradually since 1990’s.

The complex problems in growing cities and inadequate understanding of planning procedures in the United States have been serious problems in urban transportation planning. In many cities planning was based on extrapolation of past trends, not considering whether such plans would lead to desirable and livable cities. This situation has been intensified by the propaganda of special interests of the pro-highway organizations, car manufacturers, oil companies and other lobbies. To counter this propaganda, Chapter 5 has 38 pages with quotes of incorrect statements and presents their rebuttals and correct statements. Several reviewers of this Vuchic’s book have written that that chapter is extremely useful for transportation and city planners in the US and many other countries.

Utilizing the definitions of transportation systems, their characteristics and methodology of its planning, Chapter 6 challenges cities which have used extrapolation of past trends, a procedure that may lead to undesirable developments and unlivable cities. A detailed definition of livable city and its components is followed by definitions of unimodal, multimodal, intermodal and balanced transportation systems

A diagram of costs of urban travel by different modes and conditions is then used to define two groups of policies which should be used to achieve a balanced transportation: Transit Incentives and Car Disincentives. Impacts of these two categories of transportation policies on modal split between transit and cars are shown clearly on a diagram.

A large number of policies toward different transportation modes used to achieve balanced transportation systems are described in Chapter 7. The measures are classified in four categories: Type of Measure, Time Period, Jurisdiction, and Objectives/Goals to be Achieved. The description and evaluation of individual measures are written so that they can be applied in real-world situations in many cities of different sizes and degrees of livability. For example, transportation policy makers may consider pricing of cars entering center city, integration of different transit modes, complete streets, zones for pedestrians and transit, bicycle paths, etc.

Chapter 8 summarizes materials from the preceding seven chapters to predict future trends. That text clearly shows that the relationship of transportation and city’s size, form and livability are very complex, and they were not understood well in many cities, particularly when automobile ownership rapidly increased, traffic congestion or the phenomenon of “collision of cars and cities” became a serious problem. Future developments are expected to focus on definition of the city – its size, character, land uses and livability.

The failure of auto-based cities has gradually led to the development of balanced-transportation systems which have high livability or quality of life. The planning methodology based on definition of the type of city that should be planned, was developed in many European and Asian cities, such as Munich, Vienna and Singapore in the 1960-80 period. That trend has been followed in North America since the 1980s, for example San Francisco, Portland and Toronto. It is expected that in the future planning methodology will be further improved using livability as the goal. Better understanding of the impacts of transportation modes on cities’ livability will be another future task.

“Transportation for Livable Cities” has been in the forefront of the developments in urban transportation planning. Its several critical chapters about transportation planning and systematic definitions of livable cities, policies and measures for their applications in real word have been used in many cities since this book’s first publishing in 1999.

Get your copy on

“Transportation For Livable Cities”
Author: Vukan R. Vuchic
Publisher : Routledge; 1st edition (July 26, 2017)
Language : English
Paperback : 376 pages
ISBN-10 : 113851747X
ISBN-13 : 978-1138517479

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 Livable Cities
 Urban Transportation
 Metropolitan Areas
 Economic Inefficiency

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