Cities around the globe are either in the transition stage of repositioning their long-term competitiveness or in the development stage of large-scale metropolitan planning. Within the governmental leadership, decisions have been found in these two settings: the outstanding commitments on the modernization of efficient infrastructure systems and the transformative mindset to recapitalize city’s assets: both developable and underutilized lands.
This project presents a surgical diagnosis of policy governance and investment decision-making in the scope of multimodal transport system and examines the economic growth driven by the process of policy formation and managerial strategy toward city and regional growth. The goal of the project is to distill insightful grappling from a meaningful number of case studies and best practices that are tailored to the practicality and solution to the rampant urbanization of African cities and the congestion of French cities and then, go through the learning curve quickly to capture early results and mobilize capitals.
First, prior to the fund allocation, the prerequisite is to decide what kind of city do people want? Cities built around cars, as an example, would look and operate drastically different from cities built around transit. The examination of the interrelation between cars and transit and the corresponding measures to progress toward a livable city is well-thought out.
Second, dissecting the severity and sophistication of international cities, we contemplate the cases simultaneously facing a rampant spillover and suffering a significant economic growth leakage. The quintessential case, as one of the examples, the New York City (so called: the Big Apple), is encountering a high degree of complexity among its peer cities due to its multi-tier administrative framework represents the necessities to turn solo project centric evaluation into a systematic measurement to shape better consolidated success.
Third, rail lines and stations influence the city’s form and functionality due to their permanence and considerable investment. Opinions differ about the geometric shape and operating strategies for transit network influence future patterns of city development and regional integration. Through the engineering and architectural uplifts to the hundred-year-old underperforming Pennsylvania Station, as an example, in the center of downtown Manhattan, the conversion of an independent dead-end terminal to integrated through-running station would unlock the economic values by recapitalizing underutilized land alongside the distributable network-effect of multi-satellite cities and creation of regional unified network (RUN) to further increase service coverage, regional connectivity, and economic productivity within the bigger apple region.
It is time to pay systematic attention to the transformative process of repositioning cities’ long-term competitiveness learning from a meaningful number of case studies and best practices.
The goal of the project is to distill insightful grappling from a meaningful number of case studies and best practices that are tailored to the practicality and solution of the rampant urbanization of African cities and the congestion of French cities and then, go through the learning curve quickly to capture early results and mobilize capitals.
[Obj/Chg 1 – Clarify the essential challenges in urban mobility: Collision of cities and cars and vicious circle]
Cities around the globe are undergoing a series of transitions. One of the essential challenges in urban infrastructure investment is the collision of cities and cars and the “vicious circle” it creates. Cities around the globe faced a dramatic increase in private car usage during the transitional period, causing ESCRIPTIF DU PROJET :significant economic growth leakage, even stagnation due to congestion. On the other hand, cities, dedicated to managing the collision between cars and cities, alleviating the friction, and creating an intermodal balanced transportation system, were able to generate long-term sustainable growth alongside livability. The practitioner-centric investigation showcases a series of international case studies pinpointed critical conflicts, trade-offs, equilibrium, and corresponding measures between the two distinct urban assets.
[Obj/Chg 2 – Avoid making mutually conflicting policy and investment decisions]
The hazards of facing an uncoordinated investment mandate jeopardize a city’s growth and a nation’s competitiveness and put an invisible ceiling on the growth trajectory. Along the path, an inevitable phenomenon would occur: a tremendous amount of capital has spent in infrastructure, but the city is still facing numerous externalities and economic leakage. Even worse, a country is still unable to increase its aggregate growth (economic, social, and environmental) and livability. These occurred in both transitioning and developed countries. Without systematically examining the complex interrelation between fund distribution within government agencies, it requires more capital to “correct” the situation in the following rounds of investment, which foreseeably compromised the return. The data represents the consequence of jeopardized return and incidental waste of government capital.
[Obj/Chg 3 – Put process and investment procedure in charge]
Governments invest in infrastructure, the incumbent needs to first understand the importance of investing in value-creating projects, identify the goal of the investment, assess the anticipated outcome, plan the investment procedure, allocate capital and resource, form supporting policies to encourage greater usage of the infrastructure, balance the modes of travel, mitigate the externalities, determine how to operate and maintain the infrastructure, generate a stream of revenue for the fund, and most importantly keep investing in value-creating projects onwards. This whole process must efficiently streamline. However, in the realm of infrastructure decisions, a common question is how much capital do we need to invest to keep economic growth? The question needs to be reframed in this way: how much can we grow without destroying value? The initial question focuses on scale. The reframed question draws attention to quality and method. A confusion of mixing goals and means leads to either overspending the capital or spending it without clearly defined goals or intended outcomes. The differentiation draws attention on if investments are « system for getting work done », processes provide a fine-grained description of the means.
Infrastructure investment is a common scheme to boost economic productivity and carrying it out involves a multilateral decision.
First, we use linear and nonlinear algebra to validate and classify stakeholder interests and values at independent and synergistic levels so that it could better answer critical questions, such as: How influential are your stakeholders independently? Is a stakeholder’s disposition towards the project cooperative or oppositional? How motivated are stakeholders by the opinions of their peers? What issues matter to your stakeholders?
Second, we design a series of visualized infographics to showcase the power of alignment and the hazard of difference among the stakeholders. The methodology further unifies the process of exchanging information and communicating managerial and investment decisions to seal the misunderstanding gap among them.
Finally, we select a handful of case studies to clarify and cement objectives, roles, and responsibilities for sustaining results. The review of cities’ transformational experiences translates common mistakes and meaningful lessons to shape a better project success and future outcome.
Figure 1. Example of one of the case studies: the incumbent transit agencies with individual priorities in the New York region
The project approach emphasizes three outstanding perspectives:
At the policy governance level, the project helps the policy-makers, legislative-enablers, and capital- mobilizer to have a full understanding of the “forces” which create the vicious circle: how increasing traffic congestion, decreasing use of transit, and deteriorating conditions for pedestrians and for the environment make cities less livable and green. Cities make short-term improvements to their transportation systems by building more roads and parking facilities, but in the long-term, the problems with their systems are more severe than these improvements can address. Numerous cases show that the initial solution of simply expanding lanes was an incorrect measurement, instead it worsened the situation as the car usage increases. Incrementally, an increasing number of cities understand the complex problems associated with the “collision of cities and cars” and have adopted measures that lead to reduced traffic congestion and shift many trips from private cars to public transport (transit), non-motorized vehicles, and pedestrians.
At the structural system level, the project exercises the systems approach to craft the complexity of essential challenges and interlocking components for city solutions (Figure 2.), which are curbing the cities’ growth. Infrastructure systems and services, being the bloodstream of cities, represent a crucial component in defining and achieving the goal of establishing livable cities and urban areas. The fundamental cause of urban transportation problems is that individual decisions in choosing a travel mode create situations which are not optimal for the entire transportation system. Within the city of solutions, we differentiate the methodology given by historical extrapolation vs. forward planning with a definitive purpose. The comparative analyses draw a foregone conclusion.
Figure 2. Example of one of the case studies: city solution in the Bigger Apple region
At the technical transformation level, the project puts great emphasis on city’s functionality and long- term competitiveness. In the case of NYC, as an example, transit operates on a series of disjointed parts with limited regional connectivity. This phenomenon appears to many African and French cities. To turnaround, the city would require a transformative action to rethink its urban strategies: connect the disconnected parts and increase efficiency gain from an integrated network. The project, RethinkNYC Plan 2050, explored the geospatial metadata: population distribution, O-D survey, transit connectivity, land use pattern, and future urban growth within the tristate regions, which includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. The station-wide construction phasing plan maps a series of schematic design on platform expansion, track reengineering, and network realignment to turn the current underperforming dead-end Pennsylvania terminal to a high performance through-running station.
The expect results of project would appear in three imperative aspects:
[Res 1. Harvest policy formation and managerial strategy for cities’ long-term competitiveness]
- Physical and economic developments of different cities show that transportation policies and managerial strategies, particularly between cars, transit, and pedestrians, created cities with different urban fabrics and quality of life.
- Selected case studies target the practicality and solution of the rampant urbanization of African cities and the congestion of French cities
- Cities that are currently going through a series of transition
- Cities (that are) learning from each other to better reposition themselves
- Cities (that are) mix means and goals and triggered an investment offset
- Cities (that are) are trying to leapfrog but lack of policy governance and control mechanism to boost both investment return and create/uplift cities livability
[Res 2. Balance prudent investment decisions among conflicts, trade-offs, offsets, and countermeasures]
- Major capital projects come with built-in tensions that often discourage trust-based cooperation and can result in claims and variations that bust budgets and deadlines and compromise productivity.
- Selected case studies offer a wider spectrum of tools and considerations in challenging situations.
- Learn the various stages of investment mindsets, from deal origination, return realization, and exiting optionality
- Study tools that decision-makers use to finance a project, avoid investment conflict and offset (such as shown in Figure 3), create value, and determine desire outcome for city’s long-term competitiveness
Figure 3. Offsetting consequences of conflicting policies and investments: car vs. transit
- Understand the key drivers in the city development and infrastructure investment market, and key differences between government and private equity funds’ strategies as well as public-private partnership (P3) framework
- Gain experience in navigating the complex arena of mature and emerging market
[Res 3. Strengthen stakeholder value and for multilateral consensus]
- Proactively manage squeaky wheels through contractual relations and legal agreements to pave better project success.
- Selected case studies pinpoint the importance of tapping into stakeholder and stakeholder-issue networks, sociopolitical powerplay, and foundation of relationship management.
- Understand how the role of civic issues has changed in today’s increasingly diverse environment
- Gain an insider’s view of some of the world’s most dynamic governance structure and leadership
- Acquire the proven roadmap for designing and leading effective governance
- Uncover the best methods to recruit and select the most qualified stakeholder
- Collaborate more effectively within sophisticated stakeholders.
The concept of the Regional Unified Network (RUN) (shown in Figure 4) has been interviewed and presented to the NYC government, European Investment Bank (EIB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Moscow Urban Forum, Harvard University, Cambridge University, etc. Through the 2020 Sommet Afrique-France conference, we would like to harvest the growth and collaborate with French and African cities government officials, affiliated organizations, investors, etc. to identify the transitioning pathways to unlock cities and regional growth potential to increase connectivity and overall livability.
Figure 4. Example of one of the case studies: Regional Unified Network (RUN) in the Bigger Apple region