Suppose we have a very crowded city. 118.29 sq mile and population 7.001 million. Now the government made you the prime architect of the city and have to solve the extreme traffic jam problem. We cannot build subway underneath the ground because land is muddy and wet deep underneath.

There are lots of buildings and densely situated and no space inside the city to build a pillar for metro or LRT (Light Railway Transit) or no space for Maglev. There are a couple of highways and flyovers but they are jam-packed. The main transit is rickshaws, taxis, buses, cars, vans, and private cars. If you were an architect of that city how would you have solved that traffic jam problem?

Right now the city is centralized. Would you decentralize each city in each province and build independent and best hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, clinics in those cities of each province so people don't have to come to the city frequently?

The city I am talking about is Dhaka city.

Here is the map.

Dhaka City Map

Do you think if you can design a crossed(North to south Tongi to Narayanganj and and east to west Gabtoli to Chanpara) LRT or Metro over Dhaka city (just somehow) that would solve the problem? And put toll on certain roads. Improve lighting systems. And inspire and motivate people to use public transportation would that help?

More info on Dhaka

  • $\begingroup$ There is always space to build light rail! Just knock down some slums! Unfortunately, this question is far too open ended, covering way too much ground. You should narrow it down. Draw a map and then ask how we would build a rail system, perhaps? $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 19 '18 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ "lots of buildings and densely situated" - do we have to solve the traffic problem without disturbing any of the existing buildings? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Sep 19 '18 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ "Haussmann's renovation of Paris was a vast public works program commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III and directed by his prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870. It included the demolition of medieval neighborhoods that were deemed overcrowded and unhealthy [...]; the building of wide avenues; new parks and squares; the annexation of the suburbs surrounding Paris; and the construction of new sewers, fountains and aqueducts." (Wikipedia) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 19 '18 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion Light rail is yesterday's transportation & too costly. The recent trackless tram systems are cheaper & easier to implement. $\endgroup$ – a4android Sep 20 '18 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android what particular trackless tram system do you have in mind? A trolleybus? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Sep 20 '18 at 0:16

Some ideas:

  • Monorails attached to the buildings

  • Cannons/Catapults to launch people across the city with landing and launching zones

  • Parachute locations on top of high rises

  • Change all walkways into travelators

  • Remove Cars and run on only public transport (Cars would be parked at the edge of the city in massive car parks)

  • Make roads narrower and throw in a light rail, or change certain roads to be one way

On a more serious note, this is a current real world problem that many cities are addressing it and there are many ways to do so. Its never impossible to build a subway underground because your ground is soft and wet. Really? YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE CITY BUILT ON MUDDY AND WET GROUND. Go bore some tunnels, Drain out all the water and surround it with massive concrete blocks and Bobs your uncle.

Edit: (Just some stuff on Dhaka)

Since you mention Dhaka, you could also do the following

  • Only allow legal, registered vehicles on the roads, with qualified drivers

  • Enforce traffic laws (like police state enforce this stuff)

  • Properly route public transport to be more efficient

  • Build many overpass walkways for traffic, rather than rely on people crossing the road

  • Only allow people who are actually good drivers

  • Shoot any pedestrians jaywalking until they stop

  • No Stopping on the sides of the road (or create special stop lanes), tow anything that does this until they learn

  • Improve traffic management systems (the timings on your traffic lights)

  • Build a second road ontop of the first road and stack the roads up (this requires some serious planning and infrastructure investment for it to even make sense as well as good drivers)

  • More pumps in the underground tunnels that I suggested above

  • $\begingroup$ Muddy ground is not the only problem. Dhaka city is affected by flood every year and Bangladesh is a monsoon country so it rains frequently. And when it rains the flood happens again. Can the subway still be built under these conditions? Just a question. $\endgroup$ – mvr950 Sep 19 '18 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @mvr950 Dhaka city wasn't mentioned when I posted my answer. It was added part way through $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Sep 19 '18 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @mvr950 Nor was there any mention of any weather conditions, quality of life/infrastructure and the amount of wealth. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Sep 20 '18 at 0:00

Self drive vehicles can drive faster and closer. They don't need traffic lights and can automatically time vehicles so they can pass without stopping traffic.

You remove anything from the road that isn't self drive. People cross the road at over or under passes or you could build raised footpaths so people can walk safely away from vehicles.

If you want to go more hi tech, automated flying passenger drones like in Dubai allows you to use building roof tops and airspace instead of roads


With an average population of 65,000 per square mile, you simply don't have enough room for an enormous automobile/truck road infrastructure. You will still have one...but it cannot be enormous.

The most efficient way to move very large numbers of people to work/school/shopping is on foot. This means maximum one-way commutes for most of your residents of about two miles in temperate climates, quite a bit less in hot/cold climates.

A walking population does not preclude other forms of transport, indeed it keeps those other (more expensive) forms from being overcrowded.

But walking doesn't work for a centralized city with a few main arteries - most residents live too far from their destinations. A walking city is generally decentralized with many broad streets and mixed-use buildings. That doesn't mean homogenization - the banking district and university district and industrial districts and other districts are still distinct. It does, however, mean that your Class A commercial office space is spread rather evenly throughout the city instead of concentrated downtown.

Cities don't organically grow this way, and it takes political will to steer growth into this pattern. Some of the best examples I've seen are in Barcelona and Seoul.


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