ISTANBUL — Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai were cited as models as experts discussed here on Dec 17 how to develop a “reliable” public transportation system in the face of growing urbanization.
The participants of a symposium on international transportation technologies highlighted the importance of public transportation systems to cope with fast urbanization around the globe.
In most European countries, the urbanization rate is over 70 percent, latest figures show.
“Facing with such an immense urbanization growth, experts urged the authorities to find ways to develop reliable public transportation systems based on performance and quality,” said Mumin Kahveci, general director of Istanbul Energy, Tramway and Tunnel Directorate (IETT).
He drew attention to the environmental sensitivity in creating new public transportation systems.
“Hereupon I declare that Turkey will be dedicated to the Paris accord on climate change and do its best in reducing greenhouse gas emission,” he said.
Former London mayor Kenneth Livingstone encouraged the participants to analyze the cases of Beijing and Shanghai in developing public transportation systems in a functional and fastest way.
“I have been very impressed by Beijing and Shanghai mayors by just the way that they take decisions very quickly and push the government to improve the system,” Livingstone said, calling on mayors in the world to establish a mechanism that accelerates the decision-making process.
He also advised the transportation experts against focusing on building new roads but on creating new ways to encourage people to use public transport.
“In fact, by creating new roads you are at the same time attracting more and more cars to the city centers,” he explained.
As part of the symposium, IETT introduced new thematic buses including a kindergarten bus, a movie bus, an exhibition bus and a nostalgic bus.
The symposium, the eighth of its kind, drew more than one hundred mayors, academicians and transportation experts from 10 countries.