Urban Transportation: Energy Consumption

by Aurora Silva

More than half of the global population now lives in towns and cities. At the same time, transport has become the highest single energy-consuming human activity. Hence, one of the major topics today is the reduction of urban transport demand and of energy consumption in cities. This article is focused on the whole package of instruments that can reduce energy consumption and transport demand in Belgrade, a city that is currently at a major crossroad. Belgrade can prevent a dramatic increase in energy consumption and CO2 emissions (and mitigate the negative local environmental effects of traffic congestion, traffic accidents, and air pollution), only if it: implements a more decisive strategy to limit private vehicles use while its level of car passenger km travelled is still relatively low, does not try to solve its transport problems only by trying to build urban road infrastructure (bridges and ring roads), and if it continues to provide priority movement for buses (a dominant form of public transport), while at the same time developing urban rail systems (metro or light rail transit) with exclusive tracks, immune to the traffic congestion on urban streets. Continue reading