Making China’s urban transportation boom sustainable

Zhao, Zhirong Jerry (2014). Making China’surban transportation boom sustainable.  (Paulson Policy Memorenda). Chicago, IL : The Paulson Institute.

China’s economic takeoff of recent decades has been accompanied by the dazzling growth of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. China’s total highway mileage had reached a staggering 4.2 million kilometers (km)  (2.6 million miles) by 2012, expanding from just 126,675 km (78,712 miles) in 1949. Railroads in operation increased from 22,900 km (14,229 miles) in 1952 to 98,000 km (60,894 miles) in 2012, including more than 9,360 km (5,816 miles) of high-speed rail (HSR) that moves sleek passenger trains between China’s major urban centers at speeds that clock in at over 200km (124 miles)/h.

In China’s current subway boom, meanwhile, not only are megacities like Beijing and Shanghai actively adding new lines and extensions (see Figure 1) but smaller Chinese cities are also racing to open their first subway lines. 

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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