Improved integration of infrastructure and urban development is an essential condition for the development of truly sustainable cities. Good interconnections of all transportation modes (car, bicycle, railway, bus, and pedestrian, as well as high-speed rail, airplane, and boat) by means of hubs can create a single integrated and sustainable mobility network
New mobility options need to respond to both population shifts (density, residential zones, economic centers) and stakeholders’ needs to provide travel structures that are truly smart and sustainable.
For Ton Venhoeven, describing multimodal mobility networks (Metro in Progress, Brussels 2013), all modes of transport will increase substantially in the coming decades at the worldwide level. Freight and air travel are expected to grow most substantially. Paradoxically, this growth offers major opportunities for increasing the quality of life and health in cities and urban regions, while helping these areas function smarter and better in the process.
To allow people to choose per journey on a daily basis, the different mobility networks have to be optimally connected. These connections may be at transfer points, the hubs, or better still, at multimodal transit hubs where passengers can switch from car to railway, bicycle, boat or aircraft.
Such transit hubs not only help to redistribute transportation flows, but also serve as an attractive draw and place of establishment for people and businesses, as a catalyst for urbanization and transport. This is the basis for the TOD concept – Transport Oriented Development.
Multi-modal transit hubs can be found on a wide range of scales, each with its own spatial development opportunities – from international hubs like airports and seaports to urban and even smaller hubs, all of which present their own opportunities; likewise, there are hubs for passenger transport and hubs for freight transport said Ton Venhoeven. Developing a smart combination of hubs and connections tailored to each individual urban region is the route to the development of sustainable, polycentric network cities with a hyper efficient transport structure and a high quality of life.
These issues are the focus of two international conferences in Taipei 14-17 April on TOD management tools and airport city, both sponsored by the Ministry of Transport. Policy makers and TOD practitioners from Japan, Hong Kong, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia, United Kingdom and Taiwan have been invited by INTA and the NCT University at Hsinshu.