Transportation and Technology: Urban Age Conference 2018

22 May 2019

Transportation and technology was a main theme at the Urban Age Developing Urban Futures conference, in Addis Ababa, from 29 – 30 November 2018. With the help of over 60 experts and policymakers from 26 cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America, the Urban Age conference in Addis Ababa was designed to create common ground to take the debate about Developing Urban Futures further. The Urban Age brings together essays that provide context and perspective on the challenges faced by developing countries, with comparative data and evidence collected by LSE Cities on contemporary urbanisation.


Jacqueline M. Klopp on the future of popular transit.

Across Africa, high-capacity transit systems are complemented by popular transit and taxi services enabled by digital technology. How can new policy measures and investments ensure that the smart mobility transition is aligned with broader strategic goals of urban development?

Urban Age Developing Urban Futures: Transport transitions and technology – Panel discussion with Elleni Ashebir Jacqueline M. Klopp Jean-Louis Missika Justin Coetzee Kate Meagher Ladi Lawanson Philipp Rode Solomon Kidane Yolisa Kani



by Jacqueline M. Klopp | November 2018
From Cape Town to Cairo most people rely on walking, motorcycles, bicycles and minibuses to get around. These forms of popular transport move large numbers of people and goods and employ a plethora of workers. While imperfect, this makes urban life possible and productive. READ FULL ARTICLE


by Philipp Rode | November 2018
The office of Ethiopia’s Minister for Urban Development displays a beautiful artwork. The woodcarving captures the country’s transformation, depicting a farmer surrounded by new industries, urban housing estates and roads. Prominently situated, a twenty-first-century high-speed train emerges out of a tunnel, offering a glimpse of the importance and powerful symbolism of railways as a catalyst for the country’s urbanisation. READ FULL ARTICLE



Public Transport has become a major policy agenda for established and emerging cities worldwide. The need for greater access to employment, reduced commuting times and congestion and better control of carbon emissions has informed the ways in which cities have either consolidated or initiated investment in high-capacity transport.

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A mix of informal, semi-formal and regulated popular transit systems exist in cities across the world, increasing accessibility to jobs, services and amenities where mass transit systems don’t reach. Popular transport networks often includes a mix of modes, including formalised buses, shared minibuses, taxis and motorcycle taxis, with many providers – often operating fleets of fewer than three vehicles – leading to fragmented routes and schedules. Through advances in digital technology, popular transit information has been collected and distributed to make routes more transparent and accessible.

For more research from the 2018 Urban Age Developing Urban Futures Conference, visit the Urban Age website here.