Effective urban planning doesn’t just boost efficiency. It also saves lives

Good public transportation and infrastructure design can help cities run more smoothly and reduce emissions and traffic. Now, research has shown that effective urban planning can actually reduce transit injuries as well. 

Researchers compared maps of almost 1,700 cities across the world with injury data and found a significant correlation between smart city design and lower injury rates. Cities defined as “high transit” with strong rail networks like Barcelona, Durban, Jerusalem, and Toronto had some of the lowest rates of transit injuries while cities with “informal” urban planning had high rates of accidents.

Lead researcher Jason Thompson of the University of Melbourne said that “motor cities,” or cities with car-dependent infrastructure, such as Perth, Australia had effectively reduced road injuries with enforcement and public education campaigns, but that efficient public transportation was most effective for reducing injuries. 

Furthermore, the study found that national income did not necessarily correlate with injury rates. Effective public transportation options were more efficient in reducing accidents than financial resources.

So what’s the takeaway? To make our cities safer, we should be investing in effective public transportation networks. Not only do these make our cities greener, more affordable, and more efficient, but they are also a life-saving transportation solution!

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