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  • Writer's pictureInfrastructure Exchange

Roads – the good, the bad; the development and the future

The World Bank calls roads “the arteries through which the economy pulses.” They link markets, commuters, students, vendors and a multitude of other consumers to places of work, learning or business. They bring families together and move goods, food and people to and from economic centres.

Yet, with the good comes the bad – societal costs such as pollution, deforestation or carbon emissions.

For this reason, the people who plan our city and road networks have a tough job. As populations continue to grow, the number of cars on the road grow as well. Coupled with indications that urbanisation will boom in the future and predictions that we will have mega cities all around Africa, the question of road planning, funding and rehabilitation will become ever more important.

According to research published by the World Economic Council, “the average car is stationary 96% of the time. That’s a fairly consistent finding around the world…A car is typically parked at home 80% of the time, parked elsewhere 16% of the time, and on the move just 4% of the time.

“Bill Ford, executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, says we’re heading for “global gridlock.” And he’s not alone in saying we cannot simply keep adding more cars to our roads.”

Can we plan better roads and cities that are more suited to our actual needs, that don’t revolve around a particular mode of transport? Can we make our roads smarter and our transport more efficient? Is car sharing an option for African countries and cities? Would investing in better and more accessible public transport take pressure off the seemingly unending need to rehabilitate and maintain roads?

Join the #ARIIC2019 team as we explore these and other questions over the next few weeks in the run up to the congress.

The 10 and 11 September will be two of the most important days in your business calendar – be sure not to miss out on the opportunity. Register today

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