Thank you for sharing this interesting article on green traffic system and urban renewal in Copenhagen. Indeed, a good public transport network is essential to the success and the development of a city. With the continual growth in urban population, meeting the needs for housing and transport requirements are still ongoing issues in many cities.
However, Hong Kong has managed to develop one of the most successful solutions in response to the problem. The MTR Corporation, which operates the railway network in Hong Kong, adopts the ‘Rail + Property’ model (Cervero & Murakami, 2008, MTR Corporation, 2018). The model sees the government provide land development rights at stations or depot along the route, and in exchange, the company pays the government a land premium based on the market value of the land without the railway. MTR will construct the new rail line and partner with other private developers to build properties above the stations.
The Rail + Property Model (MTR Corporation, 2014)
With the real estate elements subsidising the development and operation of the railway network, the whole system is completely self-sustainable and it remained low in fare with a 99.9% on schedule rate (ibid). Additionally, this model has also delivery significant social benefits. The excellent and reliable transit network has led to a reduction in car usage and associated pollutions. It is also creating new and vibrant neighbourhoods, connecting the remote part of the city, constructing of new open spaces, creating opportunities for small business and benefitting the economy. All these have led to a more sustainable society to live and work on the whole.
The West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong (Wpcpey, 2019)
In contrast, many public-transit systems around the world are heavily relying on government subsidies or continued to lose money. Can we draw a lesson from the Hong Kong model and improve our public transit system in Newcastle or other major cities in the UK?
Cervero, R., Murakami, J. (2008) Rail + Property Development: A Model of Sustainable Transit Finance and Urbanism. Available at: https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt6jx3k35x/qt6jx3k35x.pdf?t=kro6uo (Accessed: 10 May 2019).
MTR Corporation (2014) Rail Plus Property Model. Available at: https://www.mtr.com.hk/en/corporate/sustainability/2014rpt/images/chart/ch3-3.jpg (Accessed: 10 May 2019).
MTR Corporation (2018) Annual Report 2018. Available at: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/corporate/investor/2018frpt.html (Accessed: 10 May 2019).
Wpcpey (2019) Hong Kong West Kowloon was Constructed by MTR Corporation. Available at: https://www.transportxtra.com/files/71737-l.jpg (Accessed: 10 May 2019).