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Telecommunications, Transportation, and Urban Growth

Singapore Workshop

January 12–13, 1999
Co-hosted by the World Bank and
The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Abstracts of Papers Presented

Telecommunications, Transportation, and Urban Growth
Peter Rimmer, Australian National University

The paper addresses the dynamic relationship between city size, transportation, and communication infrastructure, emphasizing the growing role of municipal governments. It reviews the literature on the subject, and then contrasts the experience of planned cities (Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur) with that of unplanned cities (Bangkok, Jakarta, and Manila). In the case of planned cities, the paper focuses on urban planning for transport and telecom in Singapore, comparing it with the very similar experience of Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. In the case of the unplanned cities, the strategy of accommodating long term growth in private vehicle traffic and of a piecemeal use of modern technology is reviewed. The paper also reviews the effects of telecommunication and transport infrastructure on urban sprawl and on the size distribution of cities. Priority policies for the larger cities are those that relieve congestion through (re-)development of the core distribution network. Medium size cities on the other hand should focus on road networks.

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