Travel time to major cities: a global map of accessibility

A new map published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and published in the World Bank’s World Development Report 2009, measures urbanisation from the new perspective of travel time to 8,500 major cities.

By using travel-time as a unit of measurement, the map of Travel Time to Major Cities represents accessibility through the easily understood concept of “how long will it take to get there?” Accessibility links people with places, goods with markets and communities to vital services.

More than half of the world’s population lives less than one hour from a major city, but the breakdown is 85% of the developed world and only 35% of the developing world.

While 95% of the world’s population is concentrated on just 10% of the world’s land;, only
only 10% of the world’s land area is classified as “remote” or more than 48 hours from a large city.

The attraction of Australia’s coasts is dramatically revealed, while North America appears to adopt a grid system for distribution of their cities .

European Commission (2008). Urbanization: 95% Of The World’s Population Lives On 10% Of The Land. Joint Research Centre.

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