Ease Traffic Congestion in Emerging Countries. –Urban problems behind economic growth–
Traffic conditions in Phnom Penh displayed on the monitor of the newly established traffic control center
Southeast Asian economies are growing rapidly, leading the global economy. This also causes urban problems, and various initiatives are being taken accordingly. In particular, traffic congestion due to the concentration of population in large cities is one of the major problems in these countries. One such area is Phnom Penh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Phnom Penh is the center of Cambodian politics and economy with a population of about 1.85 million. Buoyed by rapid economic growth since 2010 (with a GDP growth rate of 6.5%), the number of vehicles registered has increased more than four-fold from 61,000 in 2000 to 268,000 in 2012, and is still growing at an accelerating pace.* At the same time, traffic congestion is worsening. To solve this problem, the Cambodian government asked the Japanese government for grant aid for the introduction of traffic control and other systems. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched a project, and the Sumitomo Electric Group formed a consortium with Mitsubishi Corporation to win an order for the project. The Sumitomo Electric Group strove hard for more than three years in introducing a traffic control system to improve traffic congestion and safety in Phnom Penh. This feature story focuses on their great efforts onsite.
*Sourced from the JICA document “Preparatory Survey Report: Preparatory Survey for Project of Development of Traffic Management System in Phnom Penh”