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Asia's urban areas are undergoing rapid growth and transformation. Comprehensive land-use planning and effective urban development management throughout the metropolitan region is important in managing the demand for travel. Although comprehensive planning is not yet widely practiced in Asian cities there are exceptions (e.g. Singapore, Hong Kong) and the emerging interest from several cities in the region is promising.
Planning of individual urban areas needs to be done in the context of realistic national settlement policy. Up to now, many Asian governments have been weak at integrating the social dimension in their urban planning. There is a consensus that better account of social aspects are required in preparing urban plans with increased weight given to "bottom-up" planning including community consultation.
National governments and their agencies are usually better skilled and resourced than local agencies. They cannot, however, be expected to act at a city-level in as timely or as appropriate a manner as local agencies. Devolvement of authority to the lowest competent and effective level is highly desirable.
Effective land-use planning has two components: (a) long-term comprehensive planning to deal with metropolitan scale issues and (b) site or locality specific plans. Sound, comprehensive plans can significantly influence demand over the long-term. Site and locality specific measures can be used to promote public transport use and achieve desired outcomes relatively quickly but on a limited basis. We recommended that action should be taken to lay the basis for effective comprehensive planning and within this overall planning framework to pursue individual site or locality-related initiatives that promote public transport use.
Effective urban development management is required to manage the implementation of land-use or transport plans and policies. Significant technical capacity, preferably at a local level, is required to provide responsive urban management. Few cities in the region have the required level of technical resources at present.
Many Asian cities have inadequate basic infrastructure. The timely provision of infrastructure, particularly for water and transport, is a useful instrument for structuring land uses within an appropriate planning framework.
Integrated planning models that are capable of addressing air pollution, transport and health issues are needed in Asian cities as decision-support tools for a comprehensive planning process. There is a need for good data but also for models that are not overly data-hungry. Some cities in the region have either implemented or are experimenting with such integrated modeling capabilities.
However, most models that have been considered for use in Asia have been developed in the United States and Europe. They need to be verified for local use. Pressing data gaps at present appear to be appropriate data on emission factors for Asian vehicle fleets and size and composition of vehicle fleets.