Part of: Reducing Demand for Vehicle Trips in Cities

Urban Transportation Has Supply and Demand


The conventional way we try to solve urban mobility problems is by building more infrastructure. Photo by Mariana Gil / WRI Brasil.

The supply is the built infrastructure (e.g., streets, overpasses, highways, and parking lots) to accommodate an increasing number of person-trips or person-miles traveled (demand). 

To meet the growing demands of commuters, most cities first try to expand the infrastructure, but many are now:

  • Running out of space
  • Suffering from health problems related to air pollution due to auto exhaust
  • Finding their city centers and neighborhoods disrupted by cars and roads and no longer walkable or livable
  • Increasing housing costs due to off-street parking requirements
  • Fostering car trips due to free on-street parking
  • Paying exorbitant costs for transport-related issues. In some cases, more than 10 percent of a country’s GDP is lost due to wasted time, traffic fatalities, and other things…(Dalkman, H. & Sakamoto, K., 2012)
  • And yet they are still unable to provide high-quality transportation.