China Transportation Briefing: Five trends to watch in 2013

Embarq’s China Transportation Briefing shares news and noteworthy research related to China’s transportation and urban development. Their goal is to help people who are interested in solving China’s urbanization and transportation problems understand relevant Chinese policies and trends. Each issue revolves around a particular theme, with content summarized from recent newsletters and magazines. This one looks at look at five trends affecting urban transportation in 2013. For more contact Heshuang Zeng at

With new leadership in Beijing in 2013, Chinese people may express their need for change to their government, including the need for better urban transport. For cities in China, 2013 will be another year of rapid change, coming with great challenges and opportunities to improve the quality of urban life. The country’s investment-driven economy will keep urban development and public transport infrastructure – think metro and bus rapid transit (BRT) – growing, but still more and more Chinese will buy a car. The challenges of traffic congestion and air pollution from automobiles, already affecting large cities like Beijing, will now confront more second-tier cities.

Could Chinese cities develop more sustainable mobilities? In today’s and tomorrow’s blog we will be look at five trends affecting urban transportation in China:(1)  the expansion of urban rail, (2) the fight against air pollution, (3) the automobile ban,(4)  a biking renaissance, and (5) multi-modal integration.

Facing the great challenge brought by the rapid motorization and urbanization, China is making great investment to expand the urban railway, and more and more cities would reassess the role of private vehicles. Cities would start improving the quality of public transit by multi-modal integration while preserving or picking up the legacy of the non-motorized transport such as green way project. Innovation from the group also shows up in terms of new grassroot NGOs and the development of mobile applications. With these signs, we have reason to believe that China could make a difference and find a different motorization way to move people.

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