From a recent study abroad trip to Asia, I would like to give my take on their transportation and how it compares to our beloved city of Lansing. I focused most of my attention on bikability, walkability, public transportation, and a few other modes I didn’t expect to be options! We traveled to 3 countries, including Seoul (the capital of South Korea), Malaysia and Singapore.
25 million people live in the city and surrounding area, and 10 million within the city limits. This as you can imagine creates incredible challenges when it comes to pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Combining all users of their roadway and creating ‘complete streets’ (a concept that is catching on in the States) is a work in progress.
A small fact which helps explain and inform their built environment would be the country’s geography. Not to bash the enormous beauty found in the country side, but it sucks for building houses or livability! The mountains are bedrock, and a plethora of tree covered rolling hills make it extremely difficult to build roads, deliver material and even farm. Any flat area of land in these mountains is covered with rice fields or growing vegetables/fruit. Hence the city of Seoul (the largest and possibly only flat area in all of Korea) is almost 2 times as dense as New York City.