Sustainability and Scaling of Urban Transportation Networks

Today, urban areas are home to more than half of the world’s population, with a projected urban population of 6.3 billion (68% total global population) in 2050 (UN, 2012). The concentration of population in urban areas has positively affected the economic growth, spurring entrepreneurship, inventions, and business innovation (Bettencourt and West, 2010). In addition, large cities are often “greener” than rural areas, because people living in denser habitats typically have smaller energy footprints, require less infrastructure and consume fewer resources per capita (Kalnay and Cai, 2003; Bettencourt and West, 2011). Despite these benefits, urban areas confront a number of sustainability challenges, resulting from the complex interaction of infrastructural, economic and social components (Arnfield, 2003; Cash et al., 2003; Patz, 2005; Nazaroff, 2013). The problems associated with urban growth, however, are typically treated as independent issues with a lack of proper account of intra- /inter-city “bridging networks” via transportation systems. Urban economies currently generate more than 90% of global gross value added, meaning few peri-urban or rural systems are unaffected by urbanization (Seto et al., 2012). Being the ultimate urban land connectors, malfunction or under-performance of transportation networks may in fact trigger the failure of other systems as these elements are inherently interdependent (Badland and Schofield, 2005; Bettencourt et al., 2007). This issue involves complex system planning of intra- and inter-city road network and the integration of the structure, function, and evolution mechanisms of the system (Batty, 2008; Hou et al., 2015).


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    University of Maryland, College Park

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    College Park, MD  United States  20742
  • Project Managers:

    Zhang, Lei

  • Performing Organizations:

    Arizona State University, Tempe

    Tempe, AZ  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wang, Zhihua

    Kaloush, Kamil

  • Start Date: 20160501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20161231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20161231

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01590600
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Center @ Maryland, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC30
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2016 1:40AM