CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

Urban traffic congestion: Its economic and social causes and consequences

In recent years, and particularly since the early 1990s, rising transport demand and road traffic have led to increasing congestion, delays, accidents and environmental problems, particularly in large cities. This explosive increase has been the result of greater access to cars (as the purchasing power of the middle-income classes has risen), easier access to credit, falling retail prices, a larger supply of used cars, population growth, a decline in household size and an unstructured approach to urban transport policy. Transport in the largest cities consumes some 3.5% of the region’s GDP, partly as a result of traffic congestion, which affects both car and public transport users and which produces a loss of economic efficiency and other negative effects for society. Without seeking to propose specific solutions, this article analyses what congestion is and what the consequences of this modern urban scourge are for city dwellers’ quality of life.

English Spanish

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