Urban transport: how to reach our destination?

Date: 16 November 2015

Venue: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus, Building R, R.014 - Rodestraat 14 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: USOS and IOB

Short description: Debating Development: Honoré Paelinck (visiting professor at University of Antwerp) Xavier Godard (independent consultant) and moderator: Bruno De Borger (University of Antwerp)

About the debate 
Rapid population growth, suburbanization, economic growth, and motorization are some of the challenges that growing cities around the world are currently facing. While transport infrastructure, services and systems that originated in industrialized countries have often been rather blindly transferred to the developing world, it is now widely acknowledged that urban transport policy and planning challenges in the developing world differ considerably from those characterizing urban areas of the developed world. In broad terms, the fast pace of urbanization and motorization, the high travel demand, limited resources, ineffective governance ,and lack of democracy and public participation are often exacerbating general urban transport problems in cities in developing countries.

Consequently, pathways to address the highly inadequate urban transport conditions for the majority of the population need to be discussed. Given the complexity of the topic, many different questions may enter this debate. How we can make urban transport efficient, accessible and affordable for all (sub)urban dwellers? How to bring together formal and informal modes of transportation, including private cars, pedestrians, buses, moto taxis etc.? Who should have the lead or at least a say in the planning of the urban transport system? Are mega projects and private sector involvement the new panacea? Which opportunities lie ahead and where should we go from here?

Honoré Paelinck is a former World Bank consultant on transport. He has led several transport companies, including the Belgian Railways in 1987. More information.

Xavier Godard has for many years focused his research and expertise activities on developing countries, especially Africa. During his 35 years working at Inrets (the French Institute for Research in Transport and Road Safety) he conducted analyses and project assessments on urban transport and mobility in developed (1969-1981) and developing countries (2000-2009). Additionally, Xavier Godard was the Scientific Committee Chairman of several CODATU conferences (e.g. Caracas 1982, Sao Paulo 1990, Lomé 2002). Even though he retired from Inrets (later transformed into Ifstar) in 2009, he kept working on an independent basis. His main research theme is mobility and travel needs analysis, including the analysis of the various modes of transportation that can be found in urban (and regional) transport systems and the appraisal of transport policies and projects. He is a recognized specialist of urban transport in Africa, with a focus on paratransit and urban poor mobility needs. Due to his expertise, he was asked to act as an advisor on several occasions (e.g. UN-Habitat report on “planning and design for sustainable urban mobility” published in 2013). Moreover, he guided PhD students in preparing their doctoral theses on urban transport in African cities up to his retirement in 2008.

Bruno De Borger is a professor at the Faculty of Applied Economics of the University of Antwerp where he teaches various courses, including ‘Transport, Mobility and the Environment’. Earlier in his career he also held positions at The Pennsylvania State University and at the KU Leuven. He is a former chairman of the Centre for Economic and Social Research (SESO) and served as a consultant to various public and private organizations on issues related to transport economics, health economics and applied industrial organization. Within the wide range of research projects, Bruno De Borger has focused on social, economic and environmental dimensions of transportation. In his most recent publications he deals amongst others with the economics of pricing and regulation in the transport sector, and the political economy of transport decision-making.



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